Sydney writer Luke Carman is an exciting new voice in Australian writing, and Veronica Sullivan and I were lucky enough to chat to Luke this week at the inaugural Digital Writers’ Festival (DWF).

A self-declared ‘anti-folk monologist’, Luke’s writing is remarkable, his poetic signature hard to classify. His debut book, An Elegant Young Man, set in Western Sydney, shines a torch on communities often completely ignored or spoken for in the wider media. Our conversation with Luke ranged from the narrowness of Australian literature to the ethics of giving voice to those shoved to the margins.

It’s therefore fitting our discussion took place in the expanding digital realm within a festival which seeks to innovate the way people experience writer’s panels. Perhaps the biggest advantage of an online festival – aside from increased geographic accessibility, as highlighted by festival director Connor Tomas O’Brien in this thought-provoking Killings column – is that every event was recorded and posted on the DWF website, allowing viewers to dip in and out of each session at their own convenience.

So if you missed the KYD/DWF book club, or are anything like me, and prefer to read the book first, then seek out as much accompanying material as possible, grab a copy from the good folk at Giramondo and watch the event whenever you please. Of course, the live-interactive aspect will be missing, but you can still let us know your thoughts about Luke’s extraordinary book via our handle: @kyd_journal.

Emily Laidlaw is Online Editor at Kill Your Darlings

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