Duration: 90 minutes
Beginning in 2021, Brisbane Writers Festival established a new tradition to open and close each festival with an address by an Indigenous author or artist – First Word and Last Word. These events reflect the vibrant legacy of Indigenous Australian storytelling, the value of truth telling, and the importance of putting First Nations voices first.
Tony Birch is one of Australia’s finest Indigenous writers. His 2006 debut, Shadowboxing, a series of ten interlinked short stories recounting boyhood in 1960s Fitzroy, is moving, stoic, vivid and restrained. He is author of three novels, The White Girl, Ghost River and Blood. He has also authored three short story collections, Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People. He has received numerous nominations and awards, including the Patrick White Literary Award for his contribution to Australian literature in 2017. Tony Birch’s two latest books are a book of poetry, Whisper Songs, and a new short story collection, Dark as Last Night.
In First Word, Tony Birch reflects on the festival program, its
themes and variations, and what it offers its Brisbane audiences.
Generously supported by University of Queensland.