City brings writers’ words to the streets

City brings writers’ words to the streets

City of Sydney cleansing trucks, bus shelters and street display boards will showcase quotes and extracts from famous writers, bringing Sydney Writers’ Festival’s ‘Thinking Season’ to the streets throughout May.

Fourteen of the City’s garbage trucks, 29 display boards and 100 bus shelters will feature powerful and moving words from leading contemporary writers attending the Festival, including Vince Gilligan, David Malouf, Irvine Welsh, Richard Flanagan, Amy Tan, Alexis Wright and Christos Tsiolkas.

The campaign runs from 30 April to 24 May and will feature 17 extracts.

The Lord Mayor said the campaign was thought-provoking and would encourage people to think about literature in a different light.

“The Sydney Writers’ Festival is one of the biggest events of its kind in the world and we want to encourage everyone to be part of it, directly or indirectly,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“We want people to discover thought-provoking literature in unusual places and we want to encourage them to research or identify the source of these extracts.

“Whether you are a reader or not, there’s at least one quote in the campaign that all of us can relate to.”

The extracts from contemporary novels like Barracuda, The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins and An Imaginary Life, have been selected by the Festival’s Artistic Director, Jemma Birrell.

“This year’s Sydney Writers’ Festival explores writing that challenges, provokes and questions our concepts of culture, history and identity,” said Ms Birrell.

“I’ve chosen a selection of quotes showcasing the extraordinary writing of authors at the 2014 Festival to give Sydneysiders some lyricism in the everyday.

“There’s poetry, provocation and quotes that might make you pause, wonder and perhaps encourage you to hear some of these wordsmiths at the Festival.

“Great writing isn’t just for a select few – it’s for all of us. In contrast to the layers of advertising we’re hit with, I hope these quotes will offer a refreshing contrast.” said Ms Birrell.

One of Sydney’s best-know writers, the Booker prize winner Thomas Keneally, was looking forward to the  Festival he said was one of the civic events celebrating the arts that had transformed the city of his youth.

“”I am very proud of the fact that Sydney continues and believes in public art, this is a very welcome change to the place since I was a kid,” Mr Keneally said.

“In one sense, even by jet, we’re a long way from the world yet we entertain the world – that’s the aspect of Sydney I like very much. The diversity of the face of Sydney is what I really like and events like the Biennale and the writers’ festival, all those things I like.”

The Lord Mayor said the City’s support of the festival backed its soon to be released Cultural Policy, which sets out future directions, priorities and commitments to enhance cultural activity and creative enterprise in Sydney.

Since it launched in 1997, the City has been a significant supporter of the festival and is providing more than $430,000 in sponsorship for the 2014 festival.

This year, Australia’s biggest literary festival will feature more than 400 writers at 350 events in central Sydney and beyond, including author talks, panel discussions, performances, storytelling, addresses and conversations.

Each year the festival attracts more than 80,000 visits to events at 60 venues across Sydney and NSW, including Walsh Bay Precinct, Sydney Town Hall, Sydney Observatory and the City Recital Hall.

The 2014 Sydney Writers’ Festival runs from 19-25 May. For more information, visit:

Writers and selected quotes from their works featured across the city are:

  • Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad)*
  • Richard Flanagan (The Narrow Road To The Deep North)*
  • Irvine Welsh (The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins)
  • Gary Shteyngart (Little Failure)*
  • Dara Horn (A Guide for the Perplexed)*
  • Christos Tsiolkas (Barracuda)*
  • Amy Tan (The Valley of Amazement)*
  • David Malouf (An Imaginary Life)*
  • Alexis Wright (The Swan Book)
  • Gabrielle Carey (Moving Around Strangers)

*Will appear on the cleansing trucks.

Media contact City of Sydney Senior Publicist Elaine Kelly, 0477 362 550,

Sydney Writers’ Festival Publicist, Benython Oldfield, 0410 355 790 or

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Jonathon Larkin.
Phone 0477 310 149 or email