Brisbane Writers Festival's Stacked 2022 Program Features 200-Plus Events Spread Across the City

Back for a huge in-person event, this year's BWF features events at The Zoo, the RE and Sunnybank's Landmark Restaurant, alongside the State Library of Queensland and local libraries around town.
Sarah Ward
Published on March 03, 2022

Bookworms, word nerds and literature lovers, rejoice — after a tumultuous couple of years due to the pandemic, Brisbane Writers Festival will be spreading its love for stories, novels, text in general and the act of putting pen to paper (and fingers to keyboards) all around the city again in 2022. And, it's doing so in a big way. For six days in May, the beloved fest will host more than 200 events across town, all to celebrate its 60th birthday.

Mark Tuesday, May 3–Sunday, May 8 in your diary, and prepare to have a huge new reading list afterwards — because that's always a hefty part of attending writers festivals. This year's fest comes after a virtual-only 2020 event, and then a hybrid in-person and online fest in 2021. And, in the spirit of getting everyone out and about, it's hosting sessions everywhere from pubs, music venues and suburban restaurants.

BWF is also setting up shop at its usual base at the State Library of Queensland, of course, and venturing to a heap of local libraries as well. But the aim is to spread the love as far and wide as possible.

"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," said BWF CEO Sarah Runcie.

Plenty of BWF's 2022 locations come courtesy of the Nick Earls-curated Brisbane as a Storied City program, which is new for this year. It not only focuses on local writers and poets, but takes them — and the festival audience — to spots they've drawn inspiration from. So, that means hearing Pig City author Andrew Stafford chat to Yumi Stynes about his book about Brisbane's music scene at The Zoo, and heading to Sunnybank's Landmark Restaurant with Benjamin Law, who'll talk about his memoir The Family Law. It also includes hitting up the RE with writer Rebecca Sparrow for a session about Brissie in the 80s and 90s.

Other highlights from the full lineup span the Our Country of Focus initiative, which is all about Aotearoa New Zealand and Pasifika talents; the In Your Suburb program, which takes the fest to libraries around the city; Indigenous writer Tony Birch doing First Word and Last Word festival bookend events; and actor Bryan Brown (Sweet Country) discussing his crime-fiction short story collection Sweet Jimmy.

Brisbane will finally welcome Literary Death Match, aka a writers' battle royale, which is heading to The Princess Theatre — and there's also a Mother's Day high tea session at Customs House, a Bluey on the Green picnic for families at South Bank Parklands, and exhibitions that explore the intersection between books and visual arts at the State Library.

There is still a small digital component in 2022, if you're keen to play along from home. Plus, the fest has launched a new smartphone app, which is filled with local anecdotes, yarns and story snippets about Brisbane that pop up as you visit different locations around town.

The 2022 Brisbane Writers Festival runs from Tuesday, May 3–Sunday, May 8. To check out the full program and purchase tickets, check out the festival's website.

Images: J Ruckli.

Published on March 03, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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