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July 16, 2024

Byron Writers Festival 2024 Program

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Executive Director, Shien Chee and Artistic Director, Jessica Alice, with this year’s Byron Writers Festival program. They are pictured at the leafy Bangalow Showground, which is again home to this year’s festival. Photo Jeff Dawson

A vibrant program packed with high-profile literary luminaries, and new voices to discover, has been released by the Byron Writers Festival, to be held August 9 till 11.

Organisers say 160 Australian and international guests will converge over three days at Bangalow Showgrounds for panel discussions, writing workshops, book launches, children’s programs. There are also satellite events at various locations.

In curating the program, incoming Artistic Director, Jessica Alice, reflected on the theme, ‘From the ground up’. 

‘From the ground up springs new life, new ideas, and new possibilities. It’s where communities mobilise and movements are born’. 

‘This festival program explores our histories and the seeds of the futures that we begin to build today.’ 

Big guest list

International guests include: two time Booker Prize finalist, US-based Nigerian writer, Chigozie Obioma, with his new novel The Road to The Country; major Irish literary voice, Caoilinn Hughes, author of The Alternatives; and UK-based novelist, Leo Vardiashvili, whose debut Hard By a Great Forest follows a family fleeing post-Soviet Georgia. 

The festival also welcomes Indian activist, Meena Kandasamy, whose latest work of political poetry is Tomorrow Someone Will Arrest You; and award-winning Maori poet, Tayi Tibble. 

Trent Dalton features in conversation with Julia Baird, Charlotte Wood explores grief and forgiveness with Ailsa Piper, and Richard Flanagan will discuss his powerful memoir Question 7. David Marr will examine re-writing colonial myths, and comedian Steph Tisdell will share how she writes with humour. A contingent of crime writers includes international bestseller Jane Harper, Candice Fox, Matthew Condon and actor-turned-novelist, Bryan Brown who will be in conversation with Jennifer Byrne. 

Chair of ABC

Kim Williams AM, new chair of the ABC, will discuss with Kerry O’Brien the future of the public broadcaster, and leading Aboriginal affairs journalist Amy McQuire, ABC 4 Corners investigative journalist Louise Milligan, Nick Bryant and Julianne Schultz will discuss press freedom in the annual Mungo MacCallum Panel. 

Bob Brown will appear in a special feature event, as well as in the panel ‘For the Earth’ with fellow Tasmanian Richard Flanagan, forest ecology expert, David Lindenmayer, poet Ali Cobby Eckermann, and Greens MP Sue Higginson, Bruce Pascoe and Lyn Harwood will also share inspiring lessons of Indigenous cultivation from their farm.

For more info check out the printed copy of the festival program inserted into the 19 June edition of The Byron Shire Echo, or visit: www.byronwritersfestival.com.

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