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Melbourne Writers Festival 2018 program launched

The program for the 2018 Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF), which runs from 24 August to 2 September, has been announced.

This year’s festival will open with a gala celebration featuring previously announced guest Andrew WK, alongside musical performances by gay and lesbian youth chorus shOUT Choir, child soldier turned rap icon Fablice Manirakiza, soul singer Mojo Juju, and kids author Andy Griffiths, who will perform a DJ set.

Other international guests include Scottish author Irvine Welsh, American science-fiction writer Ted Chiang, Canadian graphic novelist and humourist Jonny Sun, former child star Mara Wilson, Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen and American journalist David Neiwert.

Local guests include Magda Szubanski, J M Coetzee, Tim Winton, Anita Heiss, Michael Robotham, Nakkiah Lui, Miranda Tapsell, Kitty Flanagan, Leigh Sales, Benjamin Law, Carly Findlay, Judith Lucy, Kathy Lette, Anne Edmonds and Celia Pacquola. A series of ‘intimate’ book club events (limited to 20 tickets per session) will feature John Safran, Michelle de Kretser and Sarah Krasnostein discussing books of their choosing.

This year’s program also features a focus on songwriters, both in discussion and performing live, with featured musicians including Neko Case, Jimmy Barnes, Steve Kilbey, Jen Cloher, Paul Kelly, Dave Graney, Sally Seltmann and more.

They join previously announced guests Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ed Husain, Marwa al-Sabouni and Juno Dawson, as well as Emily Nussbaum and Ronan Farrow, who were both announced as part of the MEL&NYC events program.

This is the first MWF program from artistic director Marieke Hardy, who took over from former director Lisa Dempster. Hardy said this year’s festival theme, ‘A Matter of Life and Death’, is ‘a reflection on the things people reach for in order to survive and those moments where we look to words for comfort’. Hardy added: ‘It is a celebration of empathy. Yes, life is hard, but we are in it together.’

Tickets will go on sale at 9am on 20 July. To see the full program, click here.



Category: Festivals Local news