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)

Polites, Peter.jpg

Peter Polites is a Western Sydney-based writer. In 2014 he wrote and appeared in the Sweatshop performance writing production Three Jerks. In 2015 he was a recipient of the WestWords writing fellowship. He wrote Steps into Katouna, a performance text for Urban Theatre Projects that was put on for Sydney Festival 2017. Down the Hume is his first novel: it is part noir, part melodrama, part queer and all Western Sydney.

Alison Whittaker (Australian)

Whittaker, Alison c Jonno Revanche.jpg

Alison Whittaker is a Gomeroi poet and researcher, and winner of the 2016 Judith Wright Poetry Prize. She has words in major literary journals and online platforms. Her debut collection, Lemons in the Chicken Wire received the State Library of Queensland's 2015 black&write! Fellowship and was shortlisted for the 2016 Scanlon Prize.

Anuk Arudpragasam (International)

Arudpragasam, Anuk.jpg

Anuk Arudpragasam is from Colombo, Sri Lanka and currently lives in New York, where he is completing a doctorate in philosophy at Columbia University. His first novel, The Story of a Brief Marriage, is a meditation on trauma and silence and takes place over the course of a few hours in a displaced person's camp during the final days of the Sri Lankan Civil War. Described as 'an act of sustained empathy' by The New Yorker, it was named one of the Best Ten Novels of 2016 by The Wall Street Journal. Anuk writes in English and Tamil.

Rupi Kaur (International)

Kaur, Rupi.jpg

Rupi Kaur, Toronto-based poet, multimedia artist, and spoken word performer, began her career sharing poems at poetry readings and online. Her poetry and prose collection, Milk and Honey, is a #1 New York Times bestseller, and sold one million copies. Her new collection will be published in September. Rupi often uses Instagram to publish new work, and gained support for her photoseries to destigmatise the taboos around menstruation.

Ellen van Neerven (Australian)

van Neerven, Ellen c Bridget Wood.jpg

Ellen van Neerven is a Yugambeh woman from South East Queensland. She is the author of Comfort Food and Heat and Light which won the 2013 David Unaipon Award, the 2015 Dobbie Award and the 2016 NSW Premiers Literary Awards Indigenous Writer's Prize.