Guest curator Ellen van Neerven hosts a panel examining how complex relationships translate to the page. Anuk Arudpragasam (The Story of a Brief Marriage), Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey), Peter Polites (Down the Hume) and Alison Whittaker (Lemons in the Chicken Wire) have depicted diverse intimacy issues in their writing, from partner violence in queer relationships to misplaced affection and the brutality of love. Together, these writers discuss safety, belonging, violence, sexuality and ethnicity; in love and writing.

Supported by The Copyright Agency.  

Curated by Ellen van Neervan. 

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.

Anuk Arudpragasam (International)

Anuk Arudpragasam is from Colombo, Sri Lanka and currently lives in New York, where he is completing a doctorate in philosophy at Columbia University. His first novel, The Story of a Brief Marriage, is a meditation on trauma and silence and takes place over the course of a few hours in a displaced person's camp during the final days of the Sri Lankan Civil War. Described as 'an act of sustained empathy' by The New Yorker, it was named one of the Best Ten Novels of 2016 by The Wall Street Journal. Anuk writes in English and Tamil.

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.