Do you need a good laugh? Are you wanting to feel inspired and uplifted by some of our most talented writers, poets, musicians and comedians? Reconnect with your inner child and revel in the joyful experiences on offer in the Play Zone, one of the five venues at Byron Writers Festival this year.
Play Zone perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the festival’s theme, ‘Wild Imagination’. Your time in this joyful venue will leave you feeling uplifted, inspired, reminiscing on the good times life has thrown your way, and excited for the good times to come. Let’s take a look at six sessions that will unite both the young and young at heart next week.
Spoken word and poetry
Friday is looking fantastic with a focus on spoken word storytelling and performance. At 10am Bundjalung writers and creatives take us behind the scenes of The Making of Bundjalung Nghari – Indigenise 2023, a theatrical reading of stories, poems and essays, penned by First Nations writers. This session will be chaired by Rhoda Roberts and will feature Grace Lucas-Pennington, Naomi Moran, Mark Olive and Kirk Page. At lunch, it’s rhyme time with the Poetry Month Showcase. Come hear some of the country’s finest poets and spoken word artists in this special 2023 event, hosted by David Stavanger. Poetry Month is an initiative of Red Room Poetry, Australia’s leading poetry organisation, and is held each year in August as a national celebration of poetry in all its forms, for all audiences. Bebe Backhouse, Kevin Jared Hosein, Erik Jensen, Cheryl Leavy, Rebecca Rushbrook and Sarah Temporal will all be performing their stirring works.
Embracing the Disgraceful
On Saturday morning Susan Johnson, Jacinta Parsons and chair, Tracey Spicer will look at why our society is smitten with youthfulness and how this can devalue older women in ways that can diminish their self-worth. Our glowing panel will bring joy and lightness to this topic by discussing the many ways to reclaim pride in one’s ageing self – including by Living Disgracefully. Saturday afternoon will see the much-loved Myf Warhurst discussing her captivating and joyous memoir of wisdom, humour and heart with Sarah Armstrong. Time of My Life: Myf is set to unleash the music within us all and leave you feeling high-spirited. On Sunday, you might learn the key to happiness when Harvard psychiatry professor Robert Waldinger discusses his life-changing book with Brigid Delaney in The Good Life. Waldinger will share the lessons he has learnt as co-director of the longest study of happiness in the world, in this no-to-be-missed session. Stay in your seats and warm up your cheeks for Mandy Nolan, who will ask fellow comic writers Shirly Le, Myf Warhurst and Oliver Phommavanh to share their Wildest Dreams and the day they came true.
Sing your heart out!
For the finale of a weekend of ideas and inspiration, you are invited to sing your hearts out with hundreds of other voices. The Shire Choir – Sing with Wild Abandon, directed by Melia Naughton and produced by Sally Schofield, invites all to this pop-up choir event. Absolutely no experience is required, so there are no excuses not to join the fun and express your voice. Play Zone is the perfect place to let your hair down and become fully immersed in beautiful moments of pure joy. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Sessions are accessible via a 1-Day or 3-Day festival passes, available to purchase online at byronwritersfestival.com/tickets.