Press Release

Heart and Seoul: Brisbane Writers Festival to welcome international talent

10 May 2023 – More than 250 authors will travel over 100,000km from as far and wide as New York, Seoul, and London as Brisbane once again plays host to Australia’s oldest continuous writers’ festival.

The Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF) is an unmissable adventure from beginning to end with over 150 live events including author talks, panel discussions, workshops, and all-new Literary Salons. For the second year, BWF presents its Country of Focus program, an initiative highlighting the dynamic literature of the Indo-Pacific region.

This year, the festival has the pleasure of hosting some extraordinary South Korean talents, beginning with the incredible children’s book illustrators Gihun Lee and JiHyeon Lee. This expands to include some of the most exciting and subversive voices in South Korean literature: Bae Suah, Choi Eunyoung, Lee Young-ju, Krys Lee, and literary luminary Bora Chung.

“It’s my great privilege to curate a series of Korean literature panels for Brisbane Writers Festival. Korea has a vibrant literary tradition, shaped by almost a century of oppression: first Japanese colonisation and then a cycle of military dictatorships,” said Country of Focus Curator Sung-Ae Lee.

“The literature has thus been a literature of resistance and critique and has continued as such into the 21st century. I’m looking forward to an exciting representation of Korean fiction writers and poets in Brisbane, and I’m hugely excited to welcome them to this year’s festival.”

Author Bae Suah, said, “I’ve always been amazed and fascinated by the fact that the poetry and emotions of literature are conveyed through translation, even when the language may be different. I hope that such a sense of wonder can arise in the minds of readers again in Brisbane this year.”

Children’s book author Gihun Lee, said, “Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to meet book-loving readers and children. It’s truly exhilarating and enjoyable to connect and communicate beyond the boundaries of regions, cultures, and languages through the medium of books. The ship of books navigates between islands and connects us all, and I.”

Adam Moon, General Manager of Stage and Screen, the iconic entertainment, arts, sport, and music travel company that is essential to delivering the most incredible experiences to Australian audiences and across the globe, said he was proud to be supporting the BWF for the fifth year in a row.

“We pride ourselves on delivering world-class travel services, making the seemingly impossible – possible. Our business values and brand DNA are designed around being unique and not afraid of a challenge – and that’s important when servicing events like the BWF,” Mr Moon said.

“Moving authors around the globe, from New York and Seoul to London and Christchurch, is like a game of chess – but it’s something we’ve become accustomed to and it’s a genuine pleasure to play even the smallest of parts in such an incredibly important cultural event in Brisbane.

“The timing also couldn’t be better for South Korea to receive the spotlight as the Country of Focus at the BWF with Korean Airlines recently reinstating their non-stop Seoul to Brisbane air link with five flights a week on the Boeing 777 – a connection that will turbocharge the Queensland economy.”

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