Western Sydney literacy movement, Sweatshop, launches The Big Black Thing: a new anthology by emerging and established writers from migrant, refugee and Indigenous backgrounds. To celebrate, join Sweatshop for an afternoon of performance readings by some of Western Sydney’s most exciting writers, including Maryam Azam, Winnie Dunn, Shirley Le and Stephen Pham. Hosted by Michael Mohammed Ahmad and Ellen van Neerven.  

Curated by Peter Polites.

Winnie Dunn (Australian)

Winnie Dunn

Winnie Dunn is a writer of Tongan descent from Mount Druitt. She is the General Manager of Sweatshop Literacy Movement and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Western Sydney University. Winnie’s work has been published in the Sydney Review of Books, The Saturday Paper, Griffith Review, Meanjin, SBS Voices, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Southerly and Cordite. She is the editor of several critically acclaimed anthologies, most notably Sweatshop Women, which is Australia’s first and only publication produced entirely by women of colour. Winnie is currently working on her debut novel as the recipient of a CAL Ignite grant.

Stephen Pham (Australian)

Stephen Pham

Stephen Pham is a Vietnamese-Australian writer from Cabramatta, on Dharug lands. His writing has appeared in Meanjin, Griffith Review, Overland, and Sydney Review of Books. In 2018, Stephen received the Create NSW Writer's Fellowship to commence work on his debut manuscript. He was a co-writer on Utp's Sex, Drugs & Pork Rolls, a multi-screen installation that premiered at Sydney Festival 2021.

Peter Polites (Australian)

Peter Polites

Peter Polites is a novelist from Western Sydney. He has written two queer noirs, Down the Hume and The Pillars, which won the 2020 NSW Premier’s Multicultural Literary Award. He’s also won the 2020 Woollahra Digital Literature Prize for Fiction. In 2021 he will be a writer in residence at UNSW Canberra and working on his third novel, God Forgets About the Poor.

Michael Mohammed Ahmad (Australian)

Michael Mohammed Ahmad

Dr Michael Mohammed Ahmad is the Founding Director of Sweatshop Literacy Movement and Editor of the critically acclaimed anthology After Australia. His debut novel, The Tribe, won the 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelists of the Year Award. His second novel, The Lebs, won a 2019 Premier’s Literary Award and was a finalist for the 2019 Miles Franklin Literary Award. Mohammed completed his Doctorate of Creative Arts at Western Sydney University in 2017. His forthcoming novel, The Other Half of You, will be published in June, 2021.

Ellen van Neerven (Australian)

Ellen van Neerven

Ellen van Neerven belongs to the Mununjali Yugambeh people of South East Queensland. Ellen is an award-winning writer, editor and literary activist. They have authored three books including a new poetry collection Throat, which explores different ways to be heard, and edited the anthology Flock: First Nations Stories Then and Now.