Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Media release: Celebration of Black Writers

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Celebration of Black Writers
BlackWords will celebrate its fifth anniversary on October 20 with a symposium at The University of Queensland Art Museum.  The event, convened by Dr Anita Heiss, will feature an ‘In Conversation’ with Australian Children’s Laureate, Boori Monty Pryor.

Other speakers include Bruce Pascoe, Melissa Lucashenko, who will deliver the keynote address, and Jeanine Leane, shortlisted with Heiss for this year’s Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing. Heiss won the award for her book, Am I Black Enough For You?

BlackWords, a subset of AustLit, records the lives and stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and storytellers.  AustLit Director Kerry Kilner says BlackWords is a unique database. “It’s an ever-growing resource and includes published and unpublished books, stories, plays, poems and criticism,” Ms Kilner said.

AustLit partners with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and other university partners to expand BlackWords’ coverage of this dynamic and exciting part of Australia’s literary culture.

The BlackWords Symposium is an all-day event and includes a tour of the Art Museum’s current exhibition, Desert Country. This travelling exhibition of acclaimed desert paintings is on loan from the Art Gallery of South Australia.

The symposium will close with poetry readings and a performance by emcee artist Kayemtee.
As part of the BlackWords anniversary celebration, 23 years of the David Unaipon Award will be celebrated on Friday, 19 October, at the Avid Reader Bookshop in West End.

The Award is given annually for an unpublished manuscript by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander writer. Recent award winners will read from their work, and the UQP Unaipon eBook Collection will be launched.

The Unaipon Award has brought many wonderful Indigenous writers to light, including this year’s winner, Siv Parker. She described the award as an ‘inspiration’.

The Award is one of the new Queensland Literary Awards, formerly the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards.

Both events are free, but places are limited.

Event Details:
What: BlackWords Symposium
When: Saturday, 20 October
Where: UQ Art Museum
For more information about BlackWords visit: http://www.austlit.edu.au/specialistDatasets/BlackWords
Media Contact: Kerry Kilner 0402 454 120

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