PREPARATIONS are nearing completion for an inaugural study tour of Australia by three leading Papua New Guinean writers.
The McKinnon-Paga Hill Fellowships will enable Francis Nii, Daniel Kumbon and Martyn Namorong to participate in the Brisbane Writers Festival, where Daniel and Martyn will lead a panel discussion on PNG literature today, entitled ‘PNG: A State of Writing’, and Francis will present a seminar on the development of the Simbu Writers Association.
You can download Francis's presentation here.
The fellowships are sponsored by the Paga Hill Development Company and Prof Ken McKinnon, onetime PNG director of education, university vice-chancellor and chairman of the Australian Press Council.
In the first half of September, the three writers will visit Noosa, Brisbane and Sydney.
In Noosa, which is where I live, they will spend two days meeting with local writers and preparing for their participation in the Brisbane Writers festival, a project ex-kiap and author Bob Cleland has been working on with festival director Julie Beveridge for more than a year.
The 54th Brisbane Writers Festival will feature scores of writers and media personalities, among them Alexei Sayle, Suki Kim, Tom Kenelly, Richard Fidler, Stan Grant, Sarah Ferguson, Barry Jones and Kate Forsyth.
The PNG session, scheduled for Saturday 10 September at 4 pm, is being marketed as “PNG authors ruminating on the state of their nation, from a political and social perspective, and daring to imagine their people’s future”.
From Brisbane, Daniel and Martyn will fly to Sydney with Bougainville 24 editor Ben Jackson for meetings with the Australian Society of Authors, the NSW Writers Centre and Prof McKinnon.
While in Australia, the three PNG writers will also have the opportunity to meet with many Australians with an interest in PNG.
If you wish to catch up with them in Brisbane or Sydney, drop me an email here and let me know.