As a new writer, I’m wanting to shed the editor coat and explore a whole heap of events during the Festival, listening to the many great minds in attendance and learn of their views and creative processes.
Being an Indigenous artist, I’m especially excited about Indigenous Writing Now (Fri 22 Aug, 1pm), where we’ll get a chance to explore the dreamings of Aboriginal writers through poetry. Tony Birch and John Harding are both vast influences as established Indigenous artists within literature and performance. It will be a privilege to hear these superb minds ponder the discourse and significance of Indigenous poetry. I anticipate much poetic inspiration.
I’m loving the fact that Melbourne Writers Festival has playwrights such as John Harding, and Wesley Enoch in attendance. Ever since studying his works as an Indigenous playwright and director at uni, I have had a deep admiration for the works of Enoch, and look forward to both having the privilege to attend his seminar Words and War: Black Diggers (Sat 23 Aug, 1.30pm). In the seminar, Enoch will discuss the important roles that Indigenous soldiers have played when our nation has gone to war.
In a similar vein, I’ll definitely be attending Morris Gleitzman‘s poignant seminar in Words and War: Loyal Creatures (Sat 23 Aug, 12pm), addressing the tragedy of the many horses that were sacrificed all in the name of battle during World War I. Animal lovers need to get along to this one! As an animal lover myself, this is something I’m very keen to see.
Racial issues are a topic that is often tiptoed around or avoided entirely, so I will be interested to see how Alice Pung explores this within her seminar Talking Points:Bigotry in Australia (Tue 26 Aug, 6pm). It will be fascinating to see what kind of attitudes and stories will be shared during that discussion and Pung’s background as both a lawyer and writer will certainly make for an informative dialogue. Alternatively, you can see the remarkable Alice Pung in a smattering of other sessions during the Festival.
A hero of mine who has assisted in the fight against adversities in the realm of land rights and environmental issues is the wonderful Bob Brown. After the successful release of his latest book, Optimism, it will be fantastic to hear him discuss his journey up until this point sprinkled with positivity for what is yet to pass at Bob Brown: Fighting for Future (Fri 22 Aug, 7pm) and MWF at M.A.D.E: Optimism with Bob Brown (Sat 23 Aug, 6.30pm).
Bring your notebooks, pens, laptops, whatever it is you writer folk use as your means of communication; for Melbourne Writers Festival is jam-packed with so many workshops to participate in, pros to give ear to, glorious new books to read, and forums to provoke and inspire. I anticipate some amazing work to come out of the next ten days, and I can’t think of anything more exciting! I look forward to seeing you there.
Digital Reporters is run in partnership with the Emerging Writers’ Festival.