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Writers you should know - Sydney Writers Fest

The countdown is on to the Sydney Writer's Festival! Here are our top picks if you want to check out the amazing women and non-gender conforming writers attending this year's festival. Hope to see you there! 1. Eileen Myles

They're a poet, an art writer and a novelist among other things. They also once ran for president of the USA! They've been photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe and their autobiographical novel, Chelsea Girls is a must read cult classic. Eileen appears at two events this year in Sydney. You won't want to miss Eileen!

2. Michelle Cahill

Michelle Cahill is a renowned Sydney poet, writer, editor and critic. Her short story collection, Letter to Pessoa, won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for New Writing and was shortlisted in the Steele Rudd Queensland Literary Awards. Editor of the important literary journal, Mascara Literary Review, Michelle is a champion of under-represented voices in Australian culture. Her work and writing is thought-provoking and challenges the status quo. Michelle appears at Rising in the West: Writing from Sydney's Heart

3. Shastra Deo

Shastra Deo was born in Fiji, raised in Melbourne, and lives in Brisbane. She is currently completing her PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Queensland, which is focused on phantom limbs in the context of war literature. Her work has appeared in Cordite Poetry Review, Meanjin, Tincture Journal, and elsewhere. Her first book, The Agonist, won the 2016 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize. Shastra appears at two events during the festival.

4. Allison Gallagher

Allison Gallagher is a writer and poet currently living and working on Gadigal land. Their debut chapbook, Parenthetical Bodies, was released in 2017 through Subbed In and has been hugely popular. Their poetry has been published by the likes of Overland and Scum Mag, while other writing has been published by The Guardian, Southerly and Overland. They also sing and play bass in the indie-pop band Sports Bra. Allison appears at the Big Bent Poetry Reading.

For more awesome female poets, check out our regular Poet's Spotlight segment on the Girls on Key YouTube Channel. Don't forget Girls on Key features two women and non-gender conforming poets every month in three cities plus an awesome diverse lineup on the open mics. Check out events in your city here.

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