The Wheeler Centre Gala 2018: Words on Fire: Tony Birch

Words on Fire: Tony Birch

For the 2018 Wheeler Centre Gala Night of Storytelling, we invited our speakers to probe a blazing, hot topic: the power of the written word and the loaded tenets of speech.  

When do words inspire and when do they incite? When is speech free, and when is it hateful? Fighting words, funny words, insulting words and incendiary words – for better or for worse, language moves us and it matters.

‘We must thank a marginalised people who put their lives on the line to make this world a better place.’ In this section, Tony Birch discusses communities refusing to accept spiritual and physical death, even in the face of the end of the world.

Who?

Portrait of Tony Birch

Tony Birch

Tony Birch is the author of three novels: the bestselling The White Girl, winner of the 2020 NSW Premier's Award for Indigenous Writing, and shortlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Prize; Ghost River, winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing, and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2012. He is also the author of Shadowboxing, and three short story collections – Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People.

In 2017 Tony was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award. In 2021 he will release two new books, a poetry collection, Whisper Songs, and a new short story collection, Dark as Last Night. Tony Birch is also an activist, historian and essayist.