After a year in which many of us were forced to spend more time alone, a panel of writers reflect on the pitfalls, pleasures and peace of solitude, and it’s relationship with self-renewal and creativity. Christine Jackman’s Turning Down The Noise: The quiet power of silence in a busy world follows her quest to strip out the constant stimuli of modern living. Donna Ward’s She I Dare Not Name: A spinster’s meditations on life is a memoir of living life alone in a world built for couples and families. And three decades on, Stephanie Dowrick’s classic Intimacy and Solitude: Finding new closeness and self-trust in a distanced world is more timely than ever, and has been republished with new reflections on life in the pandemic. The trio are joined in conversation by Anton Enus.

Christine Jackman (Australian)

Christine Jackman

Christine Jackman is an author, journalist and communications consultant. Her love of a good yarn has taken her from a newspaper cadetship in Brisbane to a foreign correspondent’s posting in New York and to the Federal Press Gallery. More recently, Christine has experienced how external noise and growing digital distractions can erode our wellbeing, undermining our capacity for creative or innovative work. Her latest book, Turning Down the Noise, explores that modern phenomenon. She is also the author of Inside Kevin07.

Stephanie Dowrick (Australian)

Stephanie Dowrick

The updating and republication of Intimacy & Solitude has brought together the strands of Dr Stephanie Dowrick's working life and the deeply humane themes she’s researched and worked with for more than 30 years. In addition to writing a number of internationally published, award-winning non-fiction books, Stephanie has written fiction for adults and children. Formerly a successful publisher, she has contributed widely to Australian media on social justice and ethical issues, and teaches on spiritual development and creative writing in both Australia and New Zealand.

Donna Ward (Australian)

Donna Ward

Donna Ward established the micro-press Inkerman & Blunt, and indigo: journal of Western Australian creative writing. She has past lives as a psychotherapist and as a social worker in welfare management and social policy development. Her prose has appeared nationally and internationally, including in the Griffith Review, Southerly and Island Magazines, Huffington Post, and The Big Issue. Her memoir, She I Dare Not Name: A Spinster’s Meditations on Life, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2020.

Anton Enus (Australian)

Anton Enus

Anton Enus has been a broadcast journalist for more than 35 years, working initially in his native South Africa during the apartheid era and in the transition to democracy. For the past 20 years, he’s been a news presenter for SBS World News. He has also been an ambassador for Bowel Cancer Australia since 2014 and advocates strongly on behalf of the national bowel cancer screening program.