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New director announced for Adelaide Writers’ Week

Adelaide Festival

Sydney Writers’ Festival CEO Jo Dyer is set to take over as the new director of Adelaide Writers’ Week following the departure of Laura Kroetsch.

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Announcing the appointment today, Adelaide Festival chair Judy Potter said Dyer’s appointment was a “coup” for the event and the Festival.

“Jo has 25 years’ experience in multiple art forms, including literature, dance, film and theatre,” she said in a statement.

“The Adelaide Festival Board is delighted to have secured Jo and her unique talents to build upon the outstanding success of the Adelaide Writers’ Week festival over the coming years.”

Dyer’s previous roles include general manager of Bangarra Dance Theatre and executive producer at Sydney Theatre Company.

She is originally from Adelaide and said she was “thrilled to be coming home”.

“Adelaide has a rich history of a fierce engagement with writing and ideas and there is surely no more idyllic setting for their continued exploration than beneath the trees at the Pioneer Women’s Gardens.”

While there has been some conjecture and concern about potential changes in the future direction of Writers’ Week, Dyer said she looked forward to “building on the great legacy left by Laura Kroetsch”.

The audience at a session during this year’s Adelaide Writers’ Week.

Kroetsch has been director of the popular literary event for the past seven years and, although she is taking up a role directing a new program at the Dark Mofo festival in Hobart, she will remain based in Adelaide.

Potter paid tribute to her “significant contribution” as Adelaide Writers’ Week director, saying she had managed “a period of enormous change and reinvigorated the festival, positioning it as a savvy bastion of ideas”.

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