Melbourne Writers Festival 2019
Featuring heartbreaking conversations, a faux wedding reception and a mini 'Museum of Broken Relationships', this year's program is all about love.
Descending on the city from August 30 to September 8, this year's edition of the Melbourne Writers Festival is set to be an especially amorous one, dishing up a jam-packed program that's all about L-O-V-E (yep, luuuuurve). From the sappy soulmate stuff, to all-important self-love, MWF has pulled together a diverse lineup of talent to help get to the heart of it all.
Pulling inspiration from Raymond Carver's short story collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, the program sets out to explore our love for everything from people, sex, politics and country. And, no matter where you sit on that spectrum, it's got a little something for everyone.
A slew of loved-up special events includes a rowdy rendition of a hen's night, helmed by comedy writers Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan (the Kates from Get Krack!n and The Katering Show), and a faux wedding reception for author and presenter Yumi Stynes. And we'll all be getting nostalgic about past heartbreaks, when the Museum of Broken Relationships exhibition makes its Aussie debut, bringing pieces from its permanent collections in Zagreb and LA and showing them alongside a few tear-jerking local contributions.
You'll also catch conversations with some heavy-hitting international talent, including the USA's Tayari Jones (An American Marriage), Canadian novelist Patrick deWitt (French Exit), Scottish crime-writing star Val McDermid and experimental rock writer and Sonic Youth co-founder Kim Gordon.
Elsewhere, legendary singer-songwriter Tina Arena joins Yorta Yorta soprano, composer and educator Deborah Cheetham for the festival's popular Duets series; Cold Chisel's Don Walker chats with Paul Kelly, reflecting on a couple of impressive musical careers; Daniel Mallory Ortberg — host of Slate's Dear Prudence podcast and founder of The Toast — digs deep into all those occasions when love just hurts; and even a performance by Ben Folds.
Book Club will see a group of broadcasters, comedians, former politicians and authors discussing their favourite tomes, or you can enjoy a selection of the city's cringiest DIY wedding vows, as performed by comics Anne Edmonds and Nath Valvo. In short, you'll have a lot of new additions to your Goodreads list.
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