The full title is the Australia and New Zealand Festival of Literature and the Arts, and it takes place from Thursday 29 May to Sunday 1 June at King’s College University campus on the Strand in London. As far as I can see it’s a first, and they have an impressive line-up of Aussie speakers such as Tim Winton, Helen Garner, Bruce Pascoe, Clive James, John Pilger and Kathy Lette, and other luminaries including Margaret Drabble, Rebecca Swift and the supremely talented Ben Whishaw, plus many many more far too numerous to enumerate. Day passes to the festival are £30 and weekend passes £80 (presumably for the four days).
In association with the festival the Bush Theatre is featuring a season of short plays by Australian writers on Friday & Saturday 24 & 2th May called Going Bush.
I’m thrilled to bits by this and hope it’s a wild success. Aussies – and New Zealanders too I’ve no doubt – punch way above their weight when it comes to books, both writing them and reading them. It’s time the rest of the world took notice of this fascinating country, and not just when members of our royal family are visiting.
Details of the festival can be found here: http://ausnzfestival.com/