For Brisbanites fond of burying their nose in good books, September might as well be Christmas. That's when the annual Brisbane Writers Festival rolls around, brandishing literary love aplenty and bringing a plethora of writers and wordsmiths with it — and its 2017 program is no exception.
More than 100 authors will descend upon the city for five days of word-based fun from September 6 to 10, with the bulk of BWF taking place at — where else? — the State Library of Queensland. This year's event kicks off with an opening address about writing and Indigenous knowledge creation from Aboriginal activist Alec Doomadgee, closes with a session on transcending standard world views thanks to Indian-Canadian novelist Anosh Irani. In between, you'll find an ode to gossip, a discussion about touching upon taboo topics and scribes telling stories in outrageous costumes — and that's just a taste.
Indeed, the rest of the lineup features a large-scale interpretive artwork, Angel's Palace, to mark the tenth anniversary of Alexis Wright's Carpentaria; British journalist and documentary producer Adrian Levy giving behind-the-scenes accounts of covering Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, and a day dedicated to the superheroes, vampires, werewolves and more of Young Adult literature, just to name a few. Other highlights include John Safran chatting about the rise of extremism, Nakkiah Lui on writing for performance, Tracey Spicer throwing away outmoded expectations on how women should present themselves, and Benjamin Law helping dissect just why the news affects our psyche — and sharing his thoughts on humour as tool to reflect the world around him as well.
It's an eclectic lineup, one designed to delight, challenge and inform in equal measure. As always, the festival will also be holding BWF satellite sessions in suburban libraries, helping word nerds get their fix closer to home. Whichever book nook you're headed to, BYO between-panel reading material.
The Brisbane Writers Festival runs from September 6 to 10. To check out the full program and purchase tickets, check out the festival's website.