Place is one of our makers. It shapes who we are and helps us form friendships, our politics, sense of community and identity. Join poet, legal scholar and essayist Alison Whittaker; writer, critic and visual artist Anwen Crawford; and essayist Eda Gunaydin for an evening of stories, provocations and talks about what it means to be here. MC’d by Maeve Marsden. Afterwards, join us for drinks and light refreshments at an afterparty hosted by DJ and performance artist Ilhan Abdi.

Presented by The Finishing School, The Parramatta Artists’ Studios and the Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University. Supported by the City of Parramatta and Western Sydney University.

Eda Gunaydin (Australian)

Eda Gunaydin

Eda Gunaydin is a Turkish-Australian writer and researcher interested in class, race and diaspora. Her essays and creative non-fiction can be found at Meanjin, Sydney Review of Books and The Lifted Brow. She has been shortlisted for a Queensland Literary Award and the Scribe Non-Fiction Prize. She is currently Contributing Editor at Sydney Review of Books, and her debut essay collection Root and Branch was published this year.

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.

Anwen Crawford (Australian)

Anwen Crawford

Anwen Crawford is a Sydney-based writer, critic and visual artist. Her essays have appeared in publications including The New YorkerThe White ReviewThe MonthlyBest Australian Essays and Sydney Review of Books. She is the author of Live Through This, and No Document. She was awarded the 2021 Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism.

Ilhan Abdi (Australian)

Ilhan Abdi

Ilhan Abdi is a writer, researcher, curator, and archivist. Her archival practice explores Somali music and theatre from the 20th century, with particular care for the distinctive, enduring ache that drives widespread Somali fascination with this era of music. She is the founder of dhageeyso, a digital archival project honouring Somali music history. Through this practice—and beyond—she is currently exploring the joys and limits of memory and nostalgia. She is the Publications Coordinator of Sydney Film Festival and was previously the 2020 Program Officer of The Writing Zone and junior editor of the Sydney Review of Books. She edited The Writing Zone’s inaugural publication, Sky Conversations, and co-edited the program’s first annual print anthology, The Wayward Sky.

Maeve Marsden (Australian)

Maeve Marsden

Maeve Marsden is a writer and theatremaker. She was a 2020 Phillip Parsons fellow at Belvoir Theatre, and has written, directed and performed in a number of critically acclaimed theatre productions, touring Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Maeve curates national storytelling project Queerstories, and her writing has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, Guardian Australia, Junkee and Archer Magazine, among others.