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5 Feb - 1 March 2010


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Fri 26 Feb - Mon 1 March (public holiday)

Supported by


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Bookings for free events are not required.  Please arrive early to ensure entry.


Dolphin Theatre

Festival Tent



Wide Open Space

Michael Cathcart, Amanda Lohrey and Robert Gray look at the centrality of the landscape in Australia’s creative imagination with participating.
Chair: Mark Tredinnick

Art for Art's Sake?

Does the age old argument that a writer has a responsibility to engage with the political events of the day still hold true? Is it even more relevant today? Kalinda Ashton, Larissa Behrendt and Emily Maguire consider the intersection of art and politics in their writing.
Chair: Philip Mead

From the Vault

Anthony Buckley and Michael Goldfarb have written two engrossing cultural histories that explore fascinating periods of change in Australia and Europe. They give us an insight into the journey they travelled in writing and researching their books.


Genre is not a Dirty Word

Crime, thrillers, mystery ... It's all fiction isn't it? Michael Koryta, Sara Foster and Marianne Delacourt explore what it means to be a genre writer.
Chair: Grant Stone

The Magic of Storytelling

Superb writers for children Angie Sage, Mark Walden and Kirsty Murray take us inside their imaginations as they share the stories that make young readers wild with excitement.
Chair: Julia Lawrinson

In Conversation

The new novels of Morris Gleitzman and Kate De Goldi feature two of the most endearing characters in recent young adult fiction. They write with a sparkling wit and humour that is universal for all age groups. Don't miss this special session for adults that will bring out the big kid in us all.
Chair: Meri Fatin


River Road Press Book Launch

Join poets Fay Zwicky and Caroline Caddy and explore their new audio collections, The Witnesses and The Tibetan Cabinet. These writers deliver luminous insights ranging across culture and humanity from Zurich to Antarctica, while delving deep into our own backyards.

Indigenous Voices

Three important voices in contemporary Indigenous writing – Larissa Behrendt, Anita Heiss and Archie Weller – share their recent writing.

Supported by Indigenous Literacy Project

Moulding Character

Commonwealth Writers' Prize winner Marina Endicott's new novel examines what it means to do the right thing, while Australian novelist Andrea Goldsmith tests friendship and love among close friends. Both novels are nuanced character studies. They discuss shades of characterisation.
Chair: Geraldine Mellet


Beneath the Veneer

Some of the most interesting characters are flawed, with families and relationships providing a goldmine of material. David Carlin, Emily Maguire and Wendy James explore the emotional landscape of human behaviour.
Chair: Angela Meyer

It's Not Just the Cover ...

But it could be. How many  times have you bought a book for its cover and put it on your coffee table, or by your bed, so it can brighten up your day? Hear how award-winning book designers Robyn Mundy and Anna Maley-Fadgyas and author Amanda Curtin turn beautiful words into objects of desire.
Chair: Donna Ward

Pulp Fiction

The new novels of KA Bedford, Lenny Bartulin and Adrian McKinty have a Chandleresque air to them. They look at the legacy of noir fiction and its effect on their writing with Chair Grant Stone.


From the Poetic to the Sublime

Three contemporary Australian poets share their work. Robert Gray is one of our nation's finest poets; Mark Tredinnick is the recent winner of the Blake Poetry Prize; and Samuel Wagan Watson is an award winner who has performed around the world.
Chair: Marcella Polain

Sex, Drugs and Braces

For young adults negotiating their place in the world, fiction can offer answers. Whether it's family life and sexuality, or darker subject matter of violence and death, is anything off limits? Patrick Ness, James Roy and Jack Heath explore the boundaries.
Chair: Amanda Betts

Consuming Passions

Film reviewer Michael Adams and musician/music critic Robert Forster live their passions. In writing about the mediums they love, they have their fingers on the pulse of the pop culture zeitgeist.
Chair: Mark Naglazas



Donna Mulhearn journeyed to Baghdad to protest the American bombings, while Neil White went from magazine publisher to federal inmate, incarcerated with an unlikely group of prisoners. They give us a glimpse of their lifechanging experiences.
Chair: Meri Fatin

Peeling Back the Layers

The new fiction of Archie Weller, Helen Oyeyemi and Shani Mootoo is preoccupied with identity and belonging. These fascinating authors talk to Chair Antonio Casella about their writing.

From Cyber to ... ?

KA Bedford, Marianne Delacourt and Garth Nix consider some of the shifts in science fiction and fantasy writing with
Chair Helen Merrick.

Dolphin Theatre

New Fortune

Wed 24–Sun 28 Feb, 6.30

Short Matters European Film Academy

The best award-winning short films from Europe in 2009. Introduced by Marion Döring, Director of the Academy, Short Matters features a fabulous selection of dramas, comedies, animation and documentaries from Europe's premiere emerging talent.


Launch of indigo journal volume 5 by Alex Miller

Join us for a champagne celebration as Alex Miller launches indigo volume 5, WA's newest journal of creative writing and ideas. Then stay on for a very special Festivalthemed edition of everyone's favourite wordsmith gathering, Cottonmouth.



Perth's favourite spoken word animals crawl out from underground with a peacockbewildering, hula-spinning outdoor spectacular. Prepare for strangeness, sadness and beauty as Cottonmouth throw a party with spoken-word performers from the Festival and beyond. Click here for a full list of performers.