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A message from UQP Director Ben James about COVID-19
Posted 19.03.2020

A message from UQP Director Ben James about COVID-19

Dear Friends of UQP,

During a time of uncertainty, I write to reassure you UQP will support our authors, readers and artists across Australia and, more broadly, throughout the world.

Our shared vision remains unchanged. Literature is an integral component of Australia’s cultural landscape and legacy. Books connect Australians from diverse backgrounds, promoting tolerance, understanding, learning and respect.

Stories are fundamental to being human. Words inspire creativity, imagination and help construct national, community and individual identities. History is understood, the present is shared and our future is shaped by stories.

We can embrace stories both new and old at a time when many social gatherings and entertainment events are being cancelled. Fiction, non-fiction and poetry that we previously might not have found the time to explore are all within easy reach from your local bookstore or by ordering online.

Today we donated books to Riverbend Books for their kindness campaign that is providing free books to the elderly and those at risk of COVID-19, and to Avid Reader for the Brisbane Domestic Violence Service. Please continue to support the wonderful bookshops in your local area.

Further, please consider children who might be kept home from school. Literacy remains a critical aspect of children and young adults' lives. Stories provide a wonderful refuge from unsettling messages in the media. Now is an important time to encourage young people to switch off screens and discover new picture books and creative fiction.

Keep your book clubs alive, enjoy book reviews and follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for regular recommendations.

Our stories keep us connected, enriched and inspired.

Best wishes,

Ben James

Director, University of Queensland Press