By Lauren Gui

Jonathan Franzen does not disappoint.

As he takes the stage, Franzen pauses for a few moments to gaze quizzically around the room before wryly addressing the crowd: “This is a grand hall.” Instantly, I take a fond liking to him, especially since Franzen’s sentiments about Twitter beautifully encapsulate my own: “Twitter is unspeakably irritating.”


By Angelina Kosev and Tom St John


The sun is bright, the crowd is plentiful, there are children running around and the sound of what could possibly be a xylophone is wafting out of all the buildings – it is children and family day at the Sydney Writer’s Festival, but I am walking towards the refuge of Julian Baggini’s talk on free will. Perhaps this is a different type of playground (one for the existentialist, the nihilist, or simply the interested; all of whom were spotted here).


By Lauren Gui


Cities may burn to the ground, but their bones remain, whispering secrets into the hot dusty breeze.

On a Thursday morning bathed in dazzling sunlight, a packed room tucked away at the end of the pier buzzing in anticipation lowers to an excited murmur. Eleanor Limprecht catches my eye and offers a warm smile and quick wink, picking up on my fruitless attempt to contain my enthusiasm.


By Lauren A. Weber


I never thought that a talk surrounding cookbooks would involve politics, race, history, and of course food - all at once.

“Our Food History: In Black and White” featuring Jacqui Newling and John Newton embodied all of this juicy stuff, and I also found out that apparently the notorious Australian supervillain also known as the ‘brush turkey’ is a delicious bird that can be baked or seared like duck!


By Nicola Cayless


The lobby at the Pier One Hotel is busy, so I suggest we sit outside for the interview, even though it is a little chilly. Nate Marshall, poet and author of Wild Hundreds (University of Pittsburgh Press 2015), is from Chicago, though. I doubt the cold would bother him.


by Swetha Das

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Lauren A. Weber

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It isn’t often you can say you began your day by watching Paul Muldoon read Seamus Heaney’s poems. Kicking off today’s festivities meant learning how eloquent and engaging Muldoon is as a reader, something I wouldn’t necessarily have expected from the often rolling, difficult nature of his poems.


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