Brisbane Writers Festival 2021

Brisbane's annual literary celebration returns with both in-person and online events.
Sarah Ward
Published on March 22, 2021


In 2020, everyone spent more time at home than expected, hopefully with their noses in several good books. In 2021, literature-loving Brisbanites can once again head out and celebrate all of those word-filled wonders. Yes, Brisbane Writers Festival is back — and yes, there's an in-person component to the annual event this time.

While last year's fest went virtual, this year's wants avid readers to gather. Across Friday, May 7–Sunday, May 9, you can get together at the Queensland Art Gallery for the opening night address by Robert Dessaix, or at Custom's House for high tea with author Kate Morton. Or, hop over to Palace Barracks, where eco-conscious Australian documentary 2040 will be screening with director and star Damon Gameau in attendance. You can also hang around BWF's base at the State Library of Queensland, where everyone from All Our Shimmering Skies writer Trent Dalton to a panel featuring Lisa Fuller, Thomas Mayor and Bruce Pascoe will be doing plenty of talking.

Benjamin Law has curated five events, too, all around the theme of survival — and there is still an online program as well. Where the latter is concerned, that means that you can still view sessions on climate anxiety, women speaking their truth, how internet technologies track our daily lives, mental health, and the path from poem to stage to book to film The Drover's Wife has taken (and more), all without leaving home.

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