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. 

Peter Polites (Australian)

Peter Polites

Peter Polites is a writer of Greek descent from Western Sydney. Peter writes and performs pieces all over Australia, and also writes performance texts for Urban Theatre Projects. His first novel Down the Hume was shortlisted for a NSW Premier's Literary Award in 2017. His second novel, The Pillars, is a dark satire of gay and ethnic aspirations.

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 2017–18, 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 was shortlisted for the 2019 Prime Minister's Literary Award. Her most recent book, Fire Front, is an anthology of, and about, First Nations published poetry.

Ellen van Neerven (Australian)

Ellen van Neerven

Ellen van Neerven is an award-winning writer and editor. Of Mununjali Yugambeh (South East Queensland) and Dutch heritage, Ellen’s first book, Heat and Light, was the recipient of the David Unaipon Award, the Dobbie Literary Award and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Indigenous Writers Prize. Ellen’s second book, a collection of poetry called Comfort Food, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Prize and was Highly Commended for the 2016 Wesley Michel Wright Prize. Throat is Ellen’s second poetry collection.