In the wake of the cancellation of Byron Writers Festival for a second year in succession, 'northerly' contributor Rebecca Ryall, who was scheduled to be our on-the-ground reporter at the event, has conjured an imagined, envisioned Festival round-up, based on this year’s stellar line-up.
Ahead of his appearance at Byron Writers Festival 2021, author Kaya Wilson discusses his acclaimed memoir of gender transition and identity, As Beautiful as Any Other: A Memoir of My Body, and how his day job as a tsunami scientist crosses over with his writing.
Christopher Raja’s landmark memoir Into the Suburbs: A Migrant’s Story is an examination of race, class, migration and tragedy through a deeply personal lens. Here he offers his thoughts on the gestation and process of writing the book, prior to his appearance at Byron Writers Festival 2021.
As the Northern Rivers community joins the rest of the world in adjusting to new lives, new routines and new values in the wake of COVID-19, we hear from Byron Bay GP Dr Joel Hissink about how both his work life and home life have changed in recent months.
Sophie Cunningham's latest offering, 'City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death and the Need for a Forest', explores universal themes of dying and grief and our love and need for trees. The essays ruminate on a question that may be relevant for many of us: what does it mean to admire the beauty of nature in the face of climate catastrophe? Interview by Katinka Smit.
Born into care after his mother was forced to give him up, rejected by his adoptive foster family and finally released to his own care at eighteen, Lemn Sissay is a living example of the healing power of poetry. Interview by Katinka Smit.
Selina Tusitala Marsh is a Pasifika poet-scholar and the current New Zealand Poet Laureate (2017-2019). As the 2016 Commonwealth Poet she wrote and performed a poem for Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey, while she recently hosted a poetry event with Barack Obama. She spoke with Katinka Smit at Byron Writers Festival 2018.
As editor of the new anthology, 'Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia', Anita Heiss has successfully brought together diverse voices, experiences and stories from across Australia. Katinka Smit met her at Byron Writers Festival 2018 for a conversation about this groundbreaking publishing project.
One of the key themes running through 2018 Byron Writers Festival will be mental health, with this year’s line-up designed to draw awareness to the wide spectrum of causes, effects and conditions in this complex area of our lives. Katinka Smit casts an eye over the program and details what to expect.
Ahead of the publication of her new picture book Archie and the Bear, local children's author Zanni Louise looks at how the best children's books allow room for interpretation, ensuring that young readers become engaged, absorbed and imaginative as they follow a multi-layered story.
Byron Writers Festival's new initiative, the Members' Book Club, held its inaugural event on 16 March when Marele Day's Lambs of God was the subject of discussion. Attendee Louise Heywood reports on a lively evening of literary conversation.
Osamah Sami is a multilingual Melbourne-based writer and actor born in Iran to Iraqi parents. Sami's forte is comedy, with his memoir Good Muslim Boy winning the NSW Premier's Literary Award in 2016. He is also a screenwriter and poet. He spoke to Katinka Smit at Byron Writers Festival 2016.
The winner of the inaugural Nancy Fairfax Artist-in-Residence for Established Writers was Henri 'Renoir' Rennie, who stayed for a week in the studio at Tweed Regional Gallery in Murwillumbah in early February to devote himself exclusively to focused writing time. Here, Henri reflects on a transportive week, during which progress was most certainly made.