Blak and Bright is back

The literary festival that platforms and celebrates First Nations artists returns with conversations, workshops and pitching opportunities.
Two of Blak and Bright festival guests, Deborah Cheetham Fraillon and Tony Birch and Festival Director Jane Harrison. Photos: Supplied.

Blak and Bright, Melbourne’s biannual First Nations literature festival, is returning 13-17 March. The festival seeks to empower and celebrate First Nations writers and storytellers with an almost entirely free program.

The festival spans five days, programming over 30 events and 80 First Nations artists of diverse backgrounds and genres. It will take over some of the city’s most iconic venues, including The
Wheeler Centre, Federation Square, State Library of Victoria and The Capitol, with many events livestreamed online.

This year marks the Festival’s fourth chapter since its inception in 2016 and its biggest iteration yet.
Blak and Bright will showcase the multifaceted expressions of First Nations writers with a program ranging from songs to essays, oral stories to epic novels and plays to poetry.

The 2024 theme, ‘Blak Futures Now’, emphasises the urgency and contemporary relevance of Indigenous voices in literature. It’s a powerful call to action to recognise and elevate the stories, experiences and perspectives of First Nations people.

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Thuy On is Reviews Editor of ArtsHub and an arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She was the books editor of The Big issue for 8 years. Her debut, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was released by University of Western Australia Publishing (UWAP). Her second collection, Decadence, was published in July 2022, also by UWAP. Her third book, Essence, will be published in 2025. Twitter: @thuy_on Instagram: poemsbythuy