Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF) is excited to announce the curators that are shaping the program in 2023.
BWF is engaging two First Nations artists, Daniel Browning and Samantha Faulkner, to curate the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander strands of the program, respectively.
Daniel Browning is a descendent of the Bundjalung and Kullilli peoples of far northern New South Wales and south-western Queensland. He is a journalist, broadcaster, documentary maker, sound artist and writer. He was the inaugural curator of Blak Box, a specially-designed sound pavilion to amplify First Nations voices in spoken word and music. He is the ABC’s Indigenous Radio Editor and presents The Art Show on RN and on podcast. He is also a widely published freelance arts writer and his upcoming debut, an anthology of journalism, memoir and art criticism, will be published by Magabala.
Samantha Faulkner is a Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal woman from the Wuthuthi/Yadhaigana peoples, Cape York Peninsula and Badu and Moa Islands, Torres Strait. She is the proud author of Life Blong Ali Drummond: A Life in the Torres Strait (Aboriginal Studies Press, July 2007) and editor of Pamle: Torres Strait Islanders in Canberra (2018). She is the Editor of Growing Up Torres Strait Islander in Australia (Black Inc, due in early 2024).
BWF’s Country of Focus program, which was inaugurated in 2022 with Aotearoa/New Zealand and Pasifika, will be drawing a focus to South Korea in 2023. This program is curated by researcher and lecturer Dr Sung-Ae Lee. Sung-Ae grew up in South Korea and later studied in both the US and Australia, before migrating to Australia in 1993, where she was awarded two PhDs in literature and Korean studies.
BWF’s youth programs will be curated by two local artists: Megan Daley and Karen Lee.
Megan Daley is drawing on her experience as the curator of the popular website Children’s Books Daily to curate the Word Play and Families programs. She is also the co-curator of the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast, author of the bestselling book Raising Readers (UQP, 2019), and recipient of the Queensland Teacher Librarian of the Year and national Dromkeen Librarian’s Award.
The Love YA program is curated by Karen Lee. A writer of Chinese-Malaysian origin, she has a special interest in the work of writers from a South-East Asian background - especially those that explore the complexities of culture, family relationships, and the migrant experience. She is the CEO of the Institute of Professional Editors and an avid reader of YA fiction - an electrifying genre that engages young people and allows them to explore the diversity of life reflected in themselves.
The Cross-Arts program, another initiative inaugurated in 2022 with the Art of the Book program, is returning in 2023 with a focus on gaming. The Gaming the Narrative program is curated by Ori Diskett, who has worked with BWF since 2015, initially as a volunteer and then as a staff member. She has research experience in the fields of Game Studies and Queer Theory, and served on the Organising Committee for the Digital Games Research Association Australia conference in 2020. Ori has a special interest in the intersection between gaming, narrative, and queerness.
Brisbane Stories will also be returning to program in 2023 with five events featuring authors whose works were inspired by locations around Brisbane. These events are curated by award-winning local author, Matthew Condon. His novels include The Motorcycle Café, The Pillow Fight, and the bestselling Three Crooked Kings trilogy, an investigation into Queensland police and political corruption.
The BWF team is working with the curators to build a program of illuminating, challenging, moving and exciting author talks and panels. The festival will take place over five days, from 10–14 May, 2023.