The Right of Reply

Brisbane Writers Festival is in full swing at the State Library Of Queensland, with over 300 events running concurrently over five days.  We engage in a city-wide conversation about ideas, imagination and identity. This year, the curatorial theme explores connection and belonging through a variety of lenses. 

American author Lionel Shriver was invited to deliver the Festival's Opening Address. As a forthright social commentator and masterful writer, Shriver is renowned for provocative views and for challenging perceptions about the role of writers.

Shriver's was the first of hundreds of powerful voices raised through various intersections across our Festival Program, including Suki Kim, Marie Munkara, Ruth Clare, David Levithan and panels like Modern Perceptions of Israel, The Right To Belong, Reporting the World, Do You See What I See?, Building a Family, Recovery and Reconnection and more.

As a Festival of writers and thinkers, we take seriously the role we play in providing a platform for meaningful exchange and debate. We strive to create a forum for artists and audience members to hold important and sometimes difficult conversations.

Every year, our keynote address aims to set the tone for the Festival. On Thursday night, Lionel Shriver – by her own admission - did not speak to her brief. The views expressed during her address were hers alone.

BWF strives for a forum where strong viewpoints and challenging conversation can be aired with respect, inclusivity and open minds. And therefore, I choose for the Opening Address to not go unanswered.

Tonight I will open the floor for a Right of Reply, led by Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Rajith Savanadasa and Suki Kim to continue the conversation that was sparked on Thursday night, the conversation we had intended to have about connection and belonging and what that means for writers. 

Please join us in the Auditorium 2 at 6:00pm this evening for this free event. All are welcome, no bookings required.

Julie Beveridge

Festival Director

Posted 10th September 2016