Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement, supported in part by Western Sydney University, has released a new poetry collection which showcases the stories of culturally diverse people from Western Sydney. In this exciting new book, over thirty writers share their experiences of home, culture, language and history.
The book has been compiled and edited by the multi-award- winning author and Western Sydney University alumnus from Bankstown, Dr Michael Mohammed Ahmad, and the distinguished writer and community arts worker from Mount Druitt, Winnie Dunn. As the dynamic duo of Sweatshop, Dr Ahmad and Ms Dunn have been powerful advocates for culturally and linguistically diverse writers throughout Australia. They believe that literature is an important tool in the fight against racism and xenophobia, which has been on the rise in Australia in recent years:
“In the era of Trump, Brexit, One Nation and Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party, Sweatshop hopes that the sweet poetry of culturally diverse writers from our special little corner of the world can help challenge and transform people’s negative opinions and prejudices,” said Dr Ahmad. A prominent author in his own right, Michael Mohammed Ahmad’s latest novel, The Lebs, was a finalist for the 2019 Miles Franklin Literary Award, Australia’s most distinguished literary prize.
This Little Red Thing features poems and flash fiction by over thirty Australian writers who come from Indigenous, African, Arab, Asian and Pasifika backgrounds.
“In particular, we are so proud of the culturally diverse young people from Sir Joseph Banks High School and Lurnea High School who have contributed to this incredibly unique collection,” said Ms Dunn, who proudly identifies as being from a Tongan- Australian background.
The new anthology is part of an ongoing push by Sweatshop to bring more stories from culturally and linguistically diverse communities to the forefront of Australian literature. This has been made possible through the support of I.C.E, Australia Council for the Arts, Western Sydney University, Campbelltown City Council and the Crown Foundation and Packer Foundation.
This Little Red Thing is out now and can be purchased for $14.95 from the Sweatshop website