What’s On: Brisbane Writers Festival 2022

Brisbane Writers Festival 2021 State Library of Queensland Brisbane, QLD Australia. Image credit: Joe Ruckli

Brisbane Writers Festival 2022

3 – 8 May

State Library of Queensland and various other venues

The 60th Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF) program will take place over six days, a city-wide celebration of more than 200 events spanning venues from libraries to suburban restaurants to Valley nightclubs.

“The spaces of our city plus the stories we tell create the place we live, and we hope this year’s Festival does Brisbane proud as it reflects our city’s culture, diversity and literary depth,” BWF CEO Sarah Runcie said.

The 60th anniversary program, curated with input from guest curators Ellen van Neerven, Benjamin Law, Anne-Marie Te Whiu, Michaela Kolowski and Rhianna Patrick, combines BWF fan-favourite formats and programs alongside a range of new initiatives.

  • Word Play, BWF’s program for students from Prep to Year 12, also returns with workshops and presentations from 3 – 6 May and Word Play Online, a diverse, curriculum-driven suite of video resources.
  • Presented in partnership with Brisbane City Council Libraries, the free Love YA returns to Brisbane Square Library on 7 May with author panels, games, giveaways, book signings and workshops spanning genres from fantasy and romance to horror and graphic novels.
  • In Your Suburb returns in 2022 with renowned authors visiting Brisbane City Council Libraries across the city for a series of free events.

“Alongside the return of popular programs Word Play and In Your Suburb, we are excited to launch three new parts of the program at this year’s Festival,” Runcie said. “Our Country of Focus initiative presents a lavish program of more than 30 Aotearoa New Zealand and Pasifika talents, most of whom are new to BWF audiences. Whether it’s spoken word poetry of New Caledonia, vital feminist writing from Samoa, or pocket poetry from Papua New Guinea, we have so much to inspire literary adventuring.”

Another program debuting at BWF 2022 is Brisbane as a Storied City, curated by Nick Earls, which pairs 10 writers and poets with the places they have drawn inspiration from.

“This collection of intimate events allows audiences to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s top literary talents and thought leaders in unexpected locations,” Runcie said. Highlights include a banquet dinner with Benjamin Law (The Family Law) at Sunnybank’s Landmark Restaurant; Yumi Stynes in conversation with Pig City writer Andrew Stafford at iconic music venue The Zoo; and a special presentation of Clare McFadden’s The Flying Orchestra, featuring Queensland Youth Orchestra, at Brisbane City Hall.

“Rounding out our new experiences is our program exploring the intersection between books and visual arts, including the Book Design Exhibit, Books by Artists and Concrete Poetry Exhibit at the State Library of Queensland,” Runcie said.

The six-day Festival also sees an expanded special event series, including a Mother’s Day High Tea at Customs House with bestselling author Sally Hepworth and Those Two Girls’ Lise Carlaw and Sarah Wills; a special picnic event for families, Bluey on the Green, featuring Brisbane’s most famous residents, Bluey & Bingo, live at South Bank Parklands; the Brisbane debut of internationally-renowned writers’ battle royale Literary Death Match at The Princess Theatre; and acclaimed actor Bryan Brown in his Festival debut to discuss Sweet Jimmy, his first collection of crime fiction short stories.

Adding an extra chapter is the new BWF smartphone app, bringing Brisbane’s local anecdotes, yarns and story snippets to life as users visit the places they occurred.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Brisbane Writers Festival website

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