Western Sydney literacy movement, Sweatshop, launches The Big Black Thing: a new anthology by emerging and established writers from migrant, refugee and Indigenous backgrounds. To celebrate, join Sweatshop for an afternoon of performance readings by some of Western Sydney’s most exciting writers, including Maryam Azam, Winnie Dunn, Shirley Le and Stephen Pham. Hosted by Michael Mohammed Ahmad and Ellen van Neerven.  

Curated by Peter Polites.

Maryam Azam (Australian)

Maryam Azam

Maryam Azam is a member of Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement and a high school teacher in Kellyville. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (Deans Scholars) from Western Sydney University and graduated with Honours in Creative Writing in 2014. She also holds a diploma in the Islamic Sciences. Maryam was the recipient of a 2015 WestWords Emerging Writers’ Fellowship. Her debut poetry collection, The Hijab Files, will be published in 2018.

Michael Mohammed Ahmad (Australian)

Michael Mohammed Ahmad

Dr Michael Mohammed Ahmad is the founder and director of Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement. His debut novel The Tribe received the 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelists of the Year Award. He latest novel is The Lebs.

Ellen van Neerven (Australian)

Ellen van Neerven is a Yugambeh woman from South East Queensland. She is the author of Comfort Food and Heat and Light which won the 2013 David Unaipon Award, the 2015 Dobbie Award and the 2016 NSW Premiers Literary Awards Indigenous Writer's Prize.