Some of the world’s most fascinating writers and ‘ideas-makers’ — including Gloria Steinem, Alain de Botton, Jonathan Franzen, and First Dog on the Moon — are coming to the Brisbane Powerhouse this year.

The Writers + Ideas program, developed by producer Jane O’Hara, is one of the venue’s largest and most ambitious programs, running from April to July.

“Being able to present Gloria Steinem, Alain de Botton and Jonathan Franzen all in the same year is a massive win for us and Brisbane,” Jane says.

“We’re also really excited about several collaborations coming up, including our Sydney Writers’ Festival livestream, Brisbane writer Kári Gíslason’s Icelandic Sagas show with 612 ABC’s Richard Fidler, and Brisbane Writers Festival presenting their Inspire Festival here in June.”

Gloria Steinem will appear in conversation with Anna Bligh on Sunday 15 May, marking the American journalist and feminist’s first visit to our shores since the ’80s. She’ll be plugging her new memoir, My Life on the Road, and discussing the moments that shaped her into one of the leaders of the equality movement.

Jonathan Franzen and Alain de Botton will be returning to the Powerhouse — Franzen to celebrate his new book, Purity, a story of youthful idealism and murder, on Monday 23 May; and de Botton to discuss his philosophical new novel, The Course of Love, with two shows on Thursday 14 July.

After his last visit to Brisbane, de Botton called it “the ugliest city in Australia”, so he’ll be popular.

Meanwhile, fans of popular satirical comic strip First Dog on the Moon will be able to see the cartoonist performing live in the Powerhouse Theatre on Tuesday 31 May.

For more information about the program, visit