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)

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Winnie Dunn is a Tongan-Australian from Mount Druitt. She is a Manager and Editor at Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement and a Bachelor of Arts graduate from Western Sydney University. Winnie's work has been published in The Lifted Brow, Cordite Poetry Review, Sydney Review of Books, The Griffith Review and The Big Black Thing. She has presented at Sydney Festival, Sydney Writers' Festival, Wollongong Writers' Festival and Stella Girls Write Up.

Stephen Pham (Australian)

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Stephen Pham is a Vietnamese-Australian writer from Cabramatta. He is an original member of Sweatshop Writers’ Collective. Stephen’s work has appeared in Sydney Review of Books, Meanjin, Griffith Review, and Overland. He has also performed at Sydney Festival, Sydney Writers’ Festival, and Emerging Writers’ Festival. In 2017 Stephen received the NSW Writer’s Fellowship to commence work on his manuscript Vietnamatta.

Shirley Le (Australian)

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Shirley Le is a Vietnamese-Australian writer from Western Sydney. She holds a BA from Macquarie University. In 2014, she won First Prize in ZineWest. Since then, her short stories and essays have been published in SBS Online, The Lifted Brow, The Griffith Review, Meanjin and The Big Black Thing. Shirley is a recipient of a WestWords 2017 Emerging Writers Fellowship.

Maryam Azam (Australian)

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Maryam Azam is a member of Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement and a high school teacher in Kellyville. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (Deans Scholars) from Western Sydney University and graduated with Honours in Creative Writing in 2014. She also holds a diploma in the Islamic Sciences. Maryam was the recipient of a 2015 WestWords Emerging Writers’ Fellowship. Her debut poetry collection, The Hijab Files, will be published in 2018.

Peter Polites (Australian)

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Peter Polites is a Greek-Australian writer from Bankstown. He is the associate director of Sweatshop and the editor of Ornaments from Two Countries, an anthology of LGBTIQ literature from Western Sydney and regional NSW. Peter’s short stories and essays have been published in Overland, Seizure, The Lifted Brow, Westside and The Big Black Thing. He is also the co-writer of the award-winning web-series, ILUVUBUT, and co-writer of Urban Theatre Projects’ production, Home Country, which premiered in the 2017 Sydney Festival. Peter’s debut novel, Down the Hume, was published in 2017.

Michael Mohammed Ahmad (Australian)

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Michael Mohammed Ahmad is the Director of Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement. His debut novel, The Tribe, received the 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelists of the Year Award. Mohammed’s latest novel is The Lebs.