This week I joined Artistic Director Jemma Birrell and Vince Gilligan, creator of that amazing global hit Breaking Bad, to launch the 2014 Sydney Writers' Festival.
The City is proud to continue our sponsorship of the Festival - an important part of our city's cultural life. Our sponsorship has grown in dollar terms to well over $400,000 this year but we also support the festival in other ways.
We're putting literature on the streets, with our garbage trucks, display boards and bus shelters featuring powerful and thought-provoking quotations from some of the leading writers - local and overseas - who will be at this year's festival.
The quotes were selected by Jemma and include the words of Amy Tan, Christos Tsiolkas and Richard Flanagan, among others.
Keep your eyes open for some wise words from great authors including David Malouf, who wrote "these things happen, deep in our lives. We do not speak of them. We hide them, even from ourselves, but they do not leave us."
By putting them in unexpected places, we hope people will be alerted to the festival, and to the riches of books and reading. Hopefully some will want to find the source of the quotations and so will be led to books or authors they may not otherwise have discovered.
These quotes also send the message that literature can be a richly rewarding part of everyday life, not something closeted away in its own rarefied world.
Sydney Writers' Festival, which begins on 17 May, brings together the most eclectic assortment of people from every walk of life right across our city and they'll gather at Walsh Bay, at the Observatory, at Town Hall and our City Recital Hall to listen, to argue, to be inspired.
It's a fabulous, week-long feast that inspires us all, and it will certainly continue as one of the premier events our new Cultural Policy celebrates. Visit www.swf.org.au for details of events and bookings.