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Writing the queer experience over time

Saturday 6 November 2021

05:30 pm - 06:30 pm


The modern, first-world queer experience is very different to what is used to be. We have brought together a panel of treasured writers and journalists to speak about their experiences of being queer, chronicling and expressing themselves through the decades. This panel will explore how writing about the queer experience has changed over time, and how has it shaped them as writers?


Moderator - Chris Tse (he/him) was born and raised in Lower Hutt, Aotearoa New Zealand. His first poetry collection How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes (2014) won the Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry and his second book HE'S SO MASC was published to critical acclaim in 2018. He and Emma Barnes are co-editors of Out Here: An Anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ Writers From Aotearoa. His third collection, Super Model Minority, will be published in early 2022.

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Stephen House (he/him) is an award-winning Australian playwright, poet, and actor. He’s had many plays commissioned and produced, and several short films and exhibitions produced. His work has toured nationally and internationally. He’s won two Awgie Awards (Australian Writer’s Guild), Adelaide Fringe Award, Rhonda Jancovich Poetry Award for Social Justice, Goolwa Poetry Cup, Feast Short Story Prize and more. He’s been shortlisted for Lane Cove Literary Award, Overland’s Fair Australia Fiction Prize, Patrick White Playwright and Queensland Premier Drama Awards, Greenroom best actor Award and more. He’s received Australia Council literature residencies to Ireland and Canada, and an India Asialink. His chapbook “real and unreal” was published by ICOE Press Australia. He is published often and has performed his acclaimed monologues, “Appalling Behaviour” and “Almost Face to Face” widely. Stephen’s “Johnny Chico” (a Spanish translation of his “Go by Night”), has been touring in Spain for 2 years.

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Jesse Jones (he/him) is the editor and lead journalist of Pink Advocate. He has been in LGBTIQ+ media for five years since beginning his career with Star Observer. Jesse has interviewed famous figures from politicians to porn stars, as well as using his platform to highlight voices from all parts of the LGBTIQ+ community. He has been featured nationally on queer and mainstream radio to discuss LGBTIQ+ current events. With a background in sex work and public health, Jesse also works in the community health sector. He has co-authored research publications on the healthcare needs and experiences of gender-diverse sex workers. Jesse has been honoured by the New South Wales Gender Centre with a Valorie Award for his work as a media ally. He has also been a finalist for Journalist of the Year in the Australian LGBTI Awards and Media Personality of the Year in the Queen’s Ball Awards.


Liz Breslin writes poems, plays and stories and loves to perform.  Her second poem collection, In bed with the feminists, was published in June 2021 by Dead Bird Books (a selection of the poems from it won the Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poem 2020). She has received launches in Ōtepoti, Otautahi, Wānaka and Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Her first poem collection, Alzheimer’s and a spoon, was in the NZ Listener’s top ten poem books of 2017. In April 2020 she co-created The Possibilities Project with Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature. This year,  she is working on ‘reclaim’, a performance project at the Hocken Library in Ōtepoti with my girlfriend Dr Emer Lyons, where she’s looking at Irish, Polish and lesbian pictures and ephemera and creating a show in response. She was a virtual resident at the National Centre for Writing, UK, in February 2021, where she wrote a collection, Nothing to see here, about watching Norwich through the peregrine webcam on top of the cathedral. 


Barbarella Karpinski is a wordsmith chanteuse creating work that is polarising, edgy and felt. Continually creating performances in platforms ranging from written word to spoken word to memoir to screenwriting, their live performances have been screened on SBS in Sexing the Label (1997) and ABC, Bohemian Rhapsody (1998). In 2017, they completed Nu Queer Work, run by PACT Theatre and the Performance Space. In 2018 they completed a First Draft Gallery residency as part of Feminist Specificities: Around the Outside, wrote Tainted Life.

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