Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF) is, for the first time, engaging five curators to develop the next annual festival. BWF celebrates its 60th year in 2022, and the curatorium is putting together a diverse program of great writers and thinkers from around the world. Brisbane Writers Festival will take place 3–8 May 2022.
Acclaimed poet Ellen van Neerven gave the inaugural First Word and Last Word addresses at the 2021 festival and now returns to curate the First Nations content of the 2022 festival. “I am really glad to be part of gathering stories, writers and audiences together to celebrate BWF’s 60th in style,” they said.
Poet and editor Anne-Marie Te Whiu takes up the job of curating BWF’s first Region of Focus program, which for 2022 invites writers and artists from New Zealand/Aotearoa and Pasifika to present at the festival. “In the spirit of many-hands-weaving, it's valuable to be a part of a robust curatorial team, stitching together the many threads which will make up BWF 2022,” Anne-Marie said. “I'm especially keen for new and loyal BWF audiences alike to connect with and deeply listen to all of the remarkable voices that will be a part of the Region of Focus programming from Aotearoa. Mauri ora!”
“For me, the Brisbane Writers Festival is like family. There’s that sense of homecoming. It’s where you have the most important conversations. And I can’t wait to be reunited with it,” said Brisbane’s own Benjamin Law, who takes on the role of Australia Curator after guest curating for the festival in 2021. His extensive program covers all that Australia’s diverse writing community has to offer.
Michaela Kalowski, an accomplished interviewer and facilitator, helms the International program, inviting writers from around the world to participate both in-person and digitally. “It's an honour to be part of the Brisbane Writers Festival curatorial team,” Michaela said. “I'm so excited about bringing BWF audiences the international authors they love and authors they are going to love.”
Media professional Rhianna Patrick is curating the Children & Young Adults program, which consists of Word Play and Love YA, held concurrently with the festival. “I'm so excited to be a part of the curatorial team and to help shape the LoveYA and Word Play programming. I have a deep love for Australian YA and can't wait to get among what Aotearoa YA has to offer,” Rhianna said.
BWF CEO Sarah Runcie said the curatorium collects voices that reflect the diversity of Brisbane. “These five curators not only bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the festival, they also each represent the kind of voices we want to hear and explore. BWF is all about generating conversations and ideas, and what better way to do that than with five great curators building a unique festival program.”