Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Nurturing; Inaugural Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival Draws on a World of Artistic Talent

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Nurturing; Inaugural Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival Draws on a World of Artistic Talent

Article excerpt

ON THE BILL

SOME of the variety of artists at the inaugural festival are:

Award-winning photographer and writer Colin Beard -- one of Australia's foremost creative photographers: founder of the iconic 1960s Go-Set magazine, founding photographer of Australian Geographic, co-author and photographer (in collaboration with Sydney-based author James Cowan) of The River Men, The Mountain Men, Sacred Places and Starlight's Trail.

The 2014 Australian Poetry Slam champion Zohab Zee Khan -- a fourth-generation Australian of Pakistani heritage. Zohab has just returned to Australia after founding and running the successful inaugural Pakistan Poet Slam series in February.

Antoine Cassar -- a Maltese poet, translator, editor and cultural organiser, and a creative activist for migrants' rights and universal freedom of movement. Antoine's iconic work, Passport, is embraced by many on his international tours. He is the founder of the Facebook page "Spread Poetry, Not Fear", launched after the Paris attacks.

Andrea Kirwin is a singer-songwriter from the Sunshine Coast with Australian-Fijian roots. Andrea weaves melodies and storytelling together to create a rich tapestry. She is an independent Australian artist, having self-produced two albums under her own record label Peace Run Records.

THE Sunshine Coast has proven it has "the write stuff" with the launch this week of another big event on the regional calendar for 2016.

The inaugural Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival will run from September 9 to 11 at Coolum.

Festival founder and artistic director Wendy O'Hanlon said the event's two main themes were "celebrating the Sunshine Coast region's rich Aboriginal heritage and acclaimed surfing culture layered over our rich literary and musical talent".

"The festival will bring together Australian and international writers, including journalists, photographers, poets and songwriters, on a world stage, creating a space for conversation and connection across cultural and geographic divides," she said.

"We have commissioned award-winning indigenous artist Jandamarra Cadd to design a signature art 'logo' for our festival and will launch a website soon."

Ms O'Hanlon said the inspiration for the festival was Bali's successful annual Ubud International Readers and Writers Festival -- South-East Asia's largest and most-renowned cultural and literary event.

"I attended the Ubud festival in 2011 and 2015 and we are excited to announce that the Ubud festival's founder and director Janet DeNeefe will officially open our festival on Friday night, September 9," she said. …

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