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Big Sky Readers and Writers Festival 2019


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Programme


Festival Guests

Dr Anita Heiss is the author of non-fiction, historical fiction, commercial women's fiction, kids fiction, social commentary and travel articles.

She is a regular guest at writers' festivals and travels internationally performing her work and lecturing on Indigenous literature.

She is a Lifetime Ambassador of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central NSW.

Her latest novel is 'Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms'.

 

John Kinsella's most recent works include the final volume of his 'Jam Tree Gully' poetry trilogy, 'Open Door', his collaborative work with Charmaine Papertalk-Green, 'False Claims of Colonial Thieves' and the novel 'Lucida Intervalla'.

He is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, and Professor of Literature and Sustainability at Curtin University, WA. John is a wadjala/whitefella who lives on Ballardong Noongar land, and went to high school on Yamatji land in Geraldton.

 
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Holden Sheppard is a Geraldton born-and-bred author. His first novel 'Invisible Boys' won the 2018 City of Fremantle‚ T.A.G. Hungerford Award. 'Invisible Boys' also won the 2017 Ray Koppe Award.

His novella 'Poster Boy' won the 2018 Novella Project competition and was published in 'Griffith Review'. Holden is represented by The Nash Agency. 

 

An adventurer at heart, Alli Sinclair is a multi-award winning author who has lived in Argentina, Peru, and Canada.

Alli’s books explore history, culture, love and grief, and relationships between family, friends and lovers. She captures the romance and thrill of discovering old and new worlds, and loves taking readers on a journey of discovery. Alli regularly presents workshops and private writing groups, as well as providing mentoring and manuscript assessment. Her books have been translated into German and Serbian.

 

Dr Howard Gray is an author of six award-winning books on natural and maritime history themes. Between tour guiding, lecturing and researching, he actively promotes the rich maritime heritage of the Batavia Coast. His efforts were recognised through the Heritage Council’s 2015 Award for Individual Voluntary Contribution to Heritage in Western Australia.

 
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David Whish-Wilson was born in Newcastle, NSW but left Australia in 1984 to live in Europe, Africa and Asia, where he worked as a barman, actor, streetseller, labourer, exterminator, factory worker, gardener, clerk, travel agent, teacher and drug trial guinea pig.  His second novel 'Line of Sight' was short-listed for a 2011 Ned Kelly Award.  David's historical crime novel, 'The Coves', was released by Fremantle Press in July 2018 and very recently, David has released 'Cathedral Square: the historic heart of Perth', telling the rich stories of this historic precinct in Perth.  With many other books published, David has also taught in the prison system in both WA and Fiji. He is currently teaching creative writing at Curtin University.

 

Tracy Ryan was born and grew up in Western Australia. She has worked at various jobs in libraries, bookselling, editing, community journalism and university teaching.

Tracy has a BA in English from Curtin University and a BA (Hons) in French from
the University of New England in NSW. She is especially interested in foreign languages and the translation of poetry. Recent awards include Western Australian Premier’s Book Award, Poetry (Shortlisted 2014) NSW Premier’s Literary Award, Kenneth Slessor Prize (Shortlisted 2012) and the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award, Poetry (Winner 2012). 

 
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Paul Iskov is one of Australia’s leading native food chefs. He has experience working in the world’s best restaurants from Coi in San Francisco, to D.O.M. in Sáo Paulo, to Noma in Copenhagen. Upon returning to Australia, Paul established his roving dining restaurant, 'Fervor', which travels to natural settings and uses local, seasonal and foraged ingredients. He has appeared on a number of television shows in Australia and America, and is a winner of the WA Good Food Guide Industry Leadership Award. This is his first cookbook.

 

Lisa Walker has published five novels and an ABC radio play. Her most recent novels are a YA coming-of-age story 'Paris Syndrome' (HarperCollins) and a climate change comedy 'Melt' (Lacuna), and 'Sex Lies and Bonsai', a novel about a shy erotica writer, was recently re-published by HarperCollins in the US and UK.

 

Marina Baker sketches everywhere, particularly at community events.  Marina’s new exhibition, Sightlines, recounts Big Sky over the years and will be exhibited for the first time at the Festival Opening Night, 13 June, followed by installation at the Geraldton Universities Centre, 15-16 June. 

Drawing is at the heart of Marina’s arts practice in painting and printmaking. Marina has lived in Geraldton since 2005, working as a teacher, lecturer and course coordinator in the Visual Arts with ECU at the GUC campus, and more recently as the Collections Manager for the Museum & Art Gallery of New Norcia. Marina has a Master’s degree from University of Melbourne/VCA for research in Italy after being the recipient of an overseas studio grant from the Australia Council for the Arts.

 

Dr Michelle Johnston is a consultant Emergency Physician who works at an inner city hospital. Mostly her days consist of trauma and mess. She studied medicine at UWA, and gained her Fellowship with the Australian College for Emergency Medicine in 1998. She believes there is a beating heart of humanity, art, and beauty within the sometimes brutal reality of the Emergency Department, and she has dedicated her career to finding that sweet spot between creativity and critical care medicine. Books are her other oxygen, and writing her sustenance. Michelle’s debut novel, ‘Dustfall’, is a work of fiction which explores the crashing consequences of a doctor’s single mistake, as well as shining a light on a heinous chapter in WA’s mining history.

 

Steve Heron has a passion to power hope by writing quality picture books and novels that engage children, at the same time aid with handling things life throws at them. He aspires to keep it real and unreal for kids in his books. Steve's first middle-grade novel 'Maximus' was published in 2018.

 

Peter Bridge OAM was born in Perth, 1943. As a mineralogist he compiled mining history data and started Hesperian Press in 1969, publishing over 700 books, mainly on WA history and biography. Created the new gold rush in mid 1970s. Wrote 'The Eagles Nest', 'Peterwangy', 'Before Coolgardie', 'Savagery on the Swan River Settlement', etc.

 
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Bill Lawrie is a folk and blues musician, writer, and co-author (with Claire Moodie) of 'Freo Groove' – Musicians of Fremantle. Bill grew up on the Fremantle fringe and drew early inspiration from the town and the musicians who inhabited the streets, the pubs  and the markets. He lived in Melbourne and Hong Kong and has been a social worker and a bunch of other things.

 
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Claire Moodie joined ABC News in Perth as a reporter in 1997 and has since reported for 7.30, produced the state current affairs program Stateline and spent eight years covering Kimberley issues based in Broome. She loves music and Fremantle in equal proportions. She has been known to write and perform a few of her own songs. Originally from Scotland, she's lived in Fremantle for the past ten years. Claire has recently published ‘Freo Groove’ through UWAP, with co-author Bill Lawrie.

 
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Charmaine Papertalk-Green was born at Eradu (between Geraldton and Mullewa) on Amangu country and is a member of the Wajarri and Badimaya cultural groups from the Yamaji Nation of Western Australia. Green is a visual artist, poet and writer who recently moved into installation work. She began writing poetry in Mullewa in the late 1970's writing under the name Charmaine Papertalk-Green. Charmaine was instrumental in the incubation of the nationally and internationally touring exhibition Ilgarijiri - Things belonging to the Sky arts and cultural project a Yamaji Art collaboration with the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy Curtin University, Square Kilometer Array (SKA) project Australian Government and City of Greater Geraldton.