ACCLAIMED POET ALI COBBY ECKERMANN TO OPEN THE 2019 ODYSSEY LITERARY FESTIVAL
Multi-award-winning poet and writer Ali Cobby Eckermann will deliver the keynote address at the 4th annual Odyssey Literary Festival, to be held on 15 October 2019 at the landmark Capitol theatre in Melbourne.
Eckermann, the recipient of the 2018 Australia Council New Literary Fellowship and the 2017 winner of the prestigious Yale University Windham-Campbell Prize for Poetry, will speak to this year’s festival title, Raze / Rekindle, exploring the themes of endings and beginnings, change and resilience, destruction and renewal.
‘We are delighted to have Ali Cobby Eckermann as the keynote speaker for Raze / Rekindle,’ said team manager Melissa Fulton. ‘Her work, in its openness, poeticism and strength, speaks to the beating heart of our festival.’
Other guests include Nina Kenwood, Laura Elizabeth Woollett, Bridget Caldwell, Alice Robinson, Tyson Yunkaporta and Sian Prior. ‘We’re thrilled that Odyssey Literary Festival has a tradition of attracting such high-profile authors,’ said Fulton.
The Odyssey Literary Festival is a one-day event produced by students of the Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT University.
‘As emerging writers and editors, we are invested in promoting and championing an inclusive and diverse literary community,’ said Fulton. ‘We hope to create meaningful events that bring writers and readers together.’
Raze / Rekindle features events that will discuss the shifting landscapes of climate, land and power; the importance of sensitivity readers; the role of YA writers in supporting a new generation; and what endings mean to writers, both in craft and in life. A performance by Person or Persons Unknown featuring Ania Walwicz will close the festival.
Odyssey will also showcase student talent from the Associate Degree, incorporating the launches of two prized student-run publications: Visible Ink, which is now in its 31st year of publication, and Suspiria, an anthology produced by the second-year students.
Ali Cobby Eckermann is a Yankunytjatjara woman born on Kaurna land in South Australia. Ali has written a significant and innovative body of work, including the verse novel Ruby Moonlight (Magabala Books), winner of the inaugural kuril dhagun National Manuscript Editing Award, and the 2013 Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry and Book of the Year in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. In 2012, Ali won the Deadly Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature. In 2014, she was the inaugural recipient of the Tungkunungka Pintyanthi Fellowship at Adelaide Writers Week for her memoir, Too Afraid to Cry (Ilura Press). Ali was awarded the inaugural Red Room Poetry Fellowship in 2017. She joined RMIT University in 2019 as an adjunct professor in writing and publishing.
The 2019 Odyssey Literary Festival: Raze / Rekindle is open to the public and attendees can book their free tickets through the Odyssey website.