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The 2017 Perth Writers Festival program brings more than 100 celebrated writers, thinkers, artists and activists from around the world to Western Australia for a provoking and inspiring literary weekend this February.
From 23-26 February 2017, Perth Writers Festival comes to life at The University of WA and State Theatre Centre of WA for lovers of language and bold ideas. The hugely diverse program of luminous literature and engaging events will delight and surprise.
“Whether we want to change areas of our own life or how we think about the world we want to live in, the 2017 Perth Writers Festival that will make you think differently with a weekend of big ideas and engaging debate,” Perth Writers Festival Program Manager Katherine Dorrington said.
“Perth Writers Festival will pop up for the first time in Northbridge with Courtyard Sessions – a hot ticket to experience exciting emerging wordsmiths and smash-hit literary shows in a two-night party,” she said.
“Expect everything from the heart-stopping to the controversial to the beautiful as the Festival comes alive over four days this February.”
Two illuminating literary events will bookend the Perth Writers Festival weekend with powerful and morally urgent perspectives on the global humanitarian crisis.
In the Opening Address on February 23, writer and researcher Ben Rawlence (City of Thorns) focuses our attention beyond the headlines on the daily lives of nine individuals in the world’s biggest refugee camp, City of Thorns (or Dadaab) in Northern Kenya.
Syrian architect and memoirist Marwa al-Sabouni (The Battle for Home) speaks in the Closing Address on February 26 about how architecture can help reconstruct a civil society from carnage after watching her home city of Homs torn apart by war.
A major 2017 program highlight is the exciting new event Courtyard Sessions at the State Theatre Centre of WA. Join the fun at Perth Writers Festival’s inner-city hub for a two-night party showcasing the power of the spoken word, music, hip hop and comedy from a range of brilliant writers, performers and RTRFM 92.1 DJs.
Hosted by Black Comedy writer and star Nakkiah Lui, Courtyard Sessions on February 24 brings you wordsmiths – Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa, Omar Musa and Ziggy – followed by Literary Death Match, USA’s hilarious storytelling event touted as Def Poetry Jam meets Australian Idol. On February 25, be captivated by a performance of writing legend Nick Earls’ novella series Wisdom Tree, and the literary phenomenon Women of Letters returns for a show themed ‘A Letter to How I Got It Back’ hosted by Marieke Hardy and Angie Hart.
This year’s Perth Writers Festival international guests include world-renowned pioneer in the field of neuroplasticity Barbara Arrowsmith-Young (The Woman Who Changed Her Brain); Canadian Booker Prize-nominated author Madeleine Thien (Do We Say We Have Nothing; Dogs at the Perimeter); one of USA’s most prominent feminist voices Lindy West (Shrill); Nigerian-American writer Chinelo Okparanta (Under the Udala Trees); Ireland’s two-time Booker Prize shortlisted Sebastian Barry (Days Without End, The Secret Scripture); major new American voice Nathan Hill (The Nix); US-Chinese Pulitzer Prize winner Mei Fong (One Child); bestselling UK writer Kate Summerscale (The Suspicions of Mr Whicher; The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer); US novelist and Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley (Last Hundred Years: A Family Saga) and Chilean writer Alejandro Zambra (My Documents; Ways of Going Home).
Perth Writers Festival is thrilled to host a bounty of Australia writing talent including Deng Thiak Adut (Songs of a War Boy) who shares his story from child soldier to refugee advocate, lawyer and author; Lee Zachariah (Double Dissolution); Clementine Ford (Fight Like a Girl); Hannah Kent (The Good People); Natasha Lester (A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald); William McInnes (Full Bore); Osama Sami (Good Muslim Boy) and Holly Throsby (Goodwood).
Teen Talk is a new program series delving into the world of Young Adult fiction with highly-lauded fantasy author Garth Nix and hosted by 2016 Inky Awards teen judge Chloe Kam.
In 2017, the ever-popular Perth Writers Festival Family Day on February 26 invites you to celebrate the 20th anniversary of JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book by coming dressed as your favourite wizardly character and take part in a series of Hogwarts-themed events. The jam-packed free day inspires book lovers of all ages and includes storytelling, art, performance, workshops and conversation. Local writer Chris Owen and street artist Chris Nixon’s children’s book Pandamonia will come to life in a story telling event with Adam Hall and the Velvet Playboys and Perth Swing Dance Society Hoppers.
For the first time our Family Day features Curated by Kids, with a group of guest programmers aged 9-12 selecting authors and topics for the young, by the young. Family Day highlights include Lance Balchin bringing his Mechanica creatures to life through steampunk-inspired illustrations and Chris Owen creating ‘pandamonia’. Other guests include Kylie Howarth, Oliver Phommavanh and Bruce Pascoe.
Browse the Perth Writers Festival program at perthfestival.com.au and book your tickets.
PERTH WRITERS FESTIVAL
WHERE: Perth Writers Festival Precinct, UWA
WHEN: Thursday 23 - Sunday 26 February
WHERE: State Theatre Centre of WA
WA Media: Andjelka Jankovic (+61 8) 6488 8566 / 0439 382 733
National Media: Miranda Brown (+61 3) 9419 0931 / 0411 568 781
Jess Reid (UWA Media and PR Adviser) (+61 8) 6488 6876
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