Melbourne Writers Festival 2019

Fri 30th August, 2019 – Sun 8th September, 2019
From first flushes to last goodbyes, it’s all about love at this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival.

Authors, journalists, playwrights, poets, songwriters and artists will come together at this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) to interrogate love – for people, sex, politics and country – through conversations, new writing, music and immersive events.

The theme has been pulled from American writer Raymond Carver’s short-story collection, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. And artistic director Marieke Hardy has curated a program that delves into the art and unbridled emotion that emerge when we talk about love.

Honour past love at the Museum of Broken Relationships. The Croatia-based project will pop-up from September 1 to 29, ready to relieve you of the flotsam and jetsam of love. There’ll be pieces from its permanent collections in Zagreb and LA, with new contributions from broken-hearted Melburnians.

Hear from the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction winner Tayari Jones (An American Marriage), Canadian novelist Patrick deWitt (French Exit), Scottish crime queen Val McDermid, and Ireland’s John Connolly. Other international guests include Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt and Black Lives Matter activist and author DeRay Mckesson. Mexican author Emiliano Monge, who exposed migrant experiences at Mexico’s border in Among the Lost, will examine human trafficking and the body as a commodity.

There’ll also be talks from Australian literary giant Richard Flanagan, and one of Australia’s most renowned living painters, Ben Quilty, who will discuss the challenges of his new exhibition.

But it’s not all talk. There’ll be a raucous hen’s night with comedy writers Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan, and a faux wedding reception for broadcaster Yumi Stynes. Plus, CBD bar The Toff in Town will be transformed into a wedding chapel, then divorce court, where comedians Anne Edmonds and Nath Valvo will perform some of Melbourne’s worst-ever self-penned wedding vows.

For this year’s book club, notable Australians – such as Brian Nankervis of Rockwiz, comedian Judith Lucy and barrister Julian Burnside – will host discussions on their favourite books in the romance realm.

Find the full program and more information here.

This article was updated on August 21 to reflect Kim Gordon cancelling her appearance.