Guest curator Ellen van Neerven hosts a panel examining how complex relationships translate to the page. Anuk Arudpragasam (The Story of a Brief Marriage), Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey), Peter Polites (Down the Hume) and Alison Whittaker (Lemons in the Chicken Wire) have depicted diverse intimacy issues in their writing, from partner violence in queer relationships to misplaced affection and the brutality of love. Together, these writers discuss safety, belonging, violence, sexuality and ethnicity; in love and writing.

Supported by The Copyright Agency.  

Curated by Ellen van Neervan. 

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.

Alison Whittaker (Australian)

Alison Whittaker

Alison Whittaker is a Gomeroi poet, essayist and legal scholar. She is a Research Fellow at the Jumbunna Institute. In 2017–18, Alison was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard Law School where she was named Dean’s Scholar in Race, Gender and Criminal Law. Her second book Blakwork was shortlisted for the 2019 Prime Minister's Literary Award. Her most recent book, Fire Front, is an anthology of, and about, First Nations published poetry.

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.