Benjamin Law welcomes some of the Festival’s most celebrated guests in a not-to-be-missed discussion about queer literary heroes. From The Price of Salt, to Harry Potter, to Winnie the Pooh, Patrick Abboud, Ivan Coyote, Anton Enus, Michael Farrell, Melissa Hardie, C.S. Pacat and Alison Whittaker talk about the texts that influenced them – both the overtly gay and the implicitly queer. They share which books they looked to for guidance and the characters they identified with, or those whose mere existence provided comfort – when they were first identifying as queer. Guests will come equipped with endorsements, recommendations and surprises.

Supported by the University of Sydney.

Please note: due to unforeseen circumstances, Eamon Flack will no longer be appearing at this event. 

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 2017-2018 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 is a collection of poetry, essays and short stories.

Melissa Hardie (Australian)

Melissa Hardie is a senior lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Sydney. She is currently finishing a book on the closet and queer theory, with chapters on celebrity memoir, Lindsay Lohan, noir television, soap opera, and fan culture, and new queer cinema.

Ivan Coyote (International)

Ivan Coyote is the award-winning author of eleven books, the creator of four short films, and has released three albums that combine storytelling with music. Ivan is a seasoned stage performer and long-time road dog, and over the last two decades has become an audience favourite at storytelling, writers, film, poetry, and folk music festivals from Anchorage to Amsterdam to Australia. Ivan often grapples with the complex and intensely personal issues of gender identity in their work, as well as topics such as family, class, social justice and queer liberation, but always with a generous heart, a quick wit, and the nuanced and finely-honed timing of a gifted raconteur. IvanÕs eleventh book is Tomboy Survival Guide and recently was awarded a Stonewall Honor Book Award by the American Library Association, and was long-listed for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.

Patrick Abboud (Australian)

Patrick Abboud is a Walkley-nominated storyteller working across TV, radio, online and the arts. An accomplished filmmaker, Pat often travels alone on assignment presenting, shooting, producing and directing compelling documentaries. He has lived in and reported from across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia. Pat has continued his work on SBS TVÕs irreverent nightly news, tech and culture program The Feed (which he created and pitched the initial concept for) while also freelancing for SBS flagship current affairs program Dateline and international broadcasters. Pat is also co-host, writer and director of the SBS Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras broadcast.