Black and white portrait of writer Tristan Bancks

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Writing Western Sydney: The Readings

 The Readings is a weekly series of videos available on the WestWords Social channels.

Book Cover from Tristan Bancks book Detention has barbed wired fences and the words detention in jumbled letters backed by a sunset


Detention by Tristan Bancks. A daring escape. A school lockdown. A thrilling chase. What would you risk to save a life? Sima and her family are pressed to the rough, cold ground among fifty others. They lie next to the tall fence designed to keep them in. The wires are cut one by one. When they make their escape, a guard raises the alarm. Shouting, smoke bombs, people tackled to the ground. In the chaos Sima loses her parents. Dad told her to run, so she does, hiding in a school and triggering a lockdown. A boy, Dan, finds her hiding in the toilet block. What should he do? Help her? Dob her in? She’s breaking the law, but is it right to lock kids up? And if he helps, should Sima trust him? Or run? This moment, these decisions, will change the course of their lives.

About the author Tristan Bancks tells stories for the page and screen. His books for kids and teens include Two Wolves, The Fall, Detention and the Tom Weekly series. Two Wolves won Honour Book in the 2015 CBCA Book of the Year Awards and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.


Detention is published by Penguin Australia and this project is supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.


Coloured photograph portrait of Melinda Smith wearing a blue shirt and a black jacket.It’s Poet’s Corner with Melinda Smith. Melinda Smith is a poet, editor, teacher, arts advocate and event curator. Her latest book, Man-handled, has just been published by Recent Work Press. She is the author of seven other poetry books, including the 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Award winner, Drag down to unlock or place an emergency call. She frequently collaborates with artists in other disciplines including dancers, musicians and visual artists, and is a former poetry editor of The Canberra Times. She lives and writes in the ACT, on Ngunnawal Country.

Poet’s Corner is WestWords’ monthly encounter with celebrated Australian poets, curated by David Adès. Each month a poet is invited to read and talk about their poetry on a theme of the poet’s choice.


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