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MWF to launch podcast, free digital events

Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) has announced it will release more than 50 cancelled events from its 2021 program as podcasts from 13 October, with a further five events from First Nations curators to be streamed online.

‘It was devastating for authors and audiences when Covid-19 forced the cancellation of all live events in September,’ said MWF artistic director Michaela McGuire. ‘This podcast series allows us to share a selection of the smart, vital, occasionally funny and always challenging conversations that we’d programmed to showcase the brilliant work of so many writers.’

The first podcasts to be released will be:

  • Where do I begin? MWF21’s Opening Night conversation with Stan Grant, Claire G Coleman and Santilla Chingaipe
  • Tampa 20 Years On, featuring Tampa survivor turned Fulbright scholar and author Abbas Nazari
  • The End of the Larrikin Legend? an exploration of Australian character with Jan Fran, author Lech Blaine, The Monthly editor Nick Feik, and the Age state political editor and The Accidental Prime Minister author Annika Smethurst
  • Above and Beyond Belief, with Sarah Krasnostein (The Believer) and Jenny Valentish (Everything Harder Than Everyone Else)
  • Let Me Be Brief, featuring debut authors Melissa Manning and Adam Thompson discussing short story collections set against the Tasmanian landscape
  • The Lies of the Land: Australia, Assange and WikiLeaks with human rights lawyer Julian Burnside, activist and former Greens senator Scott Ludlam and Julian Assange’s lawyer Jen Robinson ‘on the consequences of covert power’.

MWF will also present the following free digital events, programmed by academic and author Marcia Langton and Jingili Mudburra editor Bridget Caldwell-Bright:

  • Uncomfortable Truths from Unceded Land, in which Langton will talk with Stan Grant, Thomas Mayor and Henry Reynolds about the First Nations histories, politics and ideas that inform their work
  • The New Wave of First Nations Fiction, in which Langton will speak to novelists Melissa Lucashenko, Nardi Simpson and Karen Wyld
  • Lines of Inquiry: Indigenous Poetry, featuring a panel of poets and writers including Claire G Coleman, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Yvette Holt and Samuel Wagan Watson that will ‘ask how poetry can vivify Indigenous storylines, languages and connections to Country’
  • The Art of Blak Critique, featuring Caldwell-Bright in discussion with Declan Fry, Tristen Harwood and Alison Whittaker
  • Tell Me How It Ends: ‘an incredible line-up of First Nations poets, including Evelyn Araluen, Maya Hodge and Jazz Money, will perform works speaking to the theme Tell Me How It Ends’.

The events, to run weekly from 13 October to 10 November, ‘carry forward a millennia-long tradition of storytelling and challenging our founding colonial myth’, said MWF in a statement.

In 2020, the Sydney Writers Festival, of which McGuire was then artistic director, was also cancelled due to Covid, and similarly produced sessions from the cancelled event as a podcast, with support from Copyright Agency. Copyright Agency is also supporting the MWF podcast.

‘We are delighted to partner with MWF to support Australian writing,’ said CEO Adam Suckling said. ‘We hope the series will delight and inspire readers to purchase books by Australian writers.’


Category: Local news