Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement launches the second issue of The Big Black Thing, an anthology by emerging and established writers from migrant, refugee and Indigenous backgrounds. Join Sweatshop for an afternoon of performance readings by some of Western Sydney’s most exciting writers, including Peter Polites, Monikka Eliah, Omar Sakr and Amanda Yeo. Hosted by Michael Mohammed Ahmad and Winnie Dunn.

Winnie Dunn (Australian)

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Winnie Dunn is a Tongan-Australian from Mount Druitt. She is a manager and editor at Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement and a Bachelor of Arts graduate from Western Sydney University. Winnie's work has been published in, The Lifted Brow, Cordite Poetry Review, Sydney Review of Books, The Griffith Review and The Big Black Thing. She has presented at Sydney Festival, Sydney Writers' Festival, Wollongong Writers' Festival and Stella Girls Write Up.

Omar Sakr (Australian)

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Omar Sakr is an Arab Australian poet whose work has been published in English, Arabic, and Spanish. His poetry has or will soon feature in Griffith Review, Meanjin, Island, Overland, The New Arab, Mizna, Antic, and Circulo de Poesia. He has been anthologised in Best Australian Poems 2016 and Contemporary Australian Poetry, and his debut collection These Wild Houses was shortlisted for the Judith Wright Calanthe award. He is the poetry editor of The Lifted Brow.

Peter Polites (Australian)

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Peter Polites is a Western Sydney-based writer. In 2014 he wrote and appeared in the Sweatshop performance writing production Three Jerks. In 2015 he was a recipient of the WestWords writing fellowship. He wrote Steps into Katouna, a performance text for Urban Theatre Projects that was put on for Sydney Festival 2017. Down the Hume is his first novel: it is part noir, part melodrama, part queer and all Western Sydney.

Monikka Eliah (Australian)

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Monikka Eliah is an Assyrian-Australian writer from Fairfield. She received her arts degree from the University of New South Wales and has presented for the Wollongong Writers’ Festival, the Stella Girls Write Up and the Digital Writers’ Festival. She is currently a member of the National Theatre of Parramatta’s Page to Stage program and CuriousWorks’ Breakthrough program.

Amanda Yeo (Australian)

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Amanda Yeo is a writer from East Hills. Her stories have been published and performed in Stories of Sydney (Sweatshop & Seizure), Westside (Westside Publications), The Last Word (Sydney Festival 2015), and The Voices Project (Australian Theatre for Young People). She is concerned with representations of race, gender and disability and their effect upon marginalised communities.

Michael Mohammed Ahmad (Australian)

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Michael Mohammed Ahmad is the 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. Mohammed’s latest novel is The Lebs.