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Black Panther Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and Party Guru Andrew W.K. Join MWF18

Ahead of our full program release on 17 July, we are elated to unveil some of the key international guests that will bring the City of Literature to life for ten days from 24 August to 2 September.

In his only Australian speaking engagement, heavy metal musician and existentialist self-help guide Andrew W.K. will launch the Festival on Opening Night, kicking off the festivities with a toast to survival, joy, resilience and pure existence.

Also joining the MWF18 program will be acclaimed author, journalist and Black Panther comic book writer Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power, The Beautiful Struggle, Between the World and Me) whose work ranges across culture and history to reveal the devastating personal and political impact of racism in the US. A national correspondent for The Atlantic, Coates’s best known essays include ‘The Case for Reparations’ and ‘I’m Not Black, I’m Kanye’. At MWF18 he will speak on Writing Yourself into History and making representative art.

We are also very excited to be welcoming:

David Neiwert, the American freelance journalist and political commentator who described the growing influence of extreme US conservatism in Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump.

Ed Husain, author of House of Islam, described as a revelatory exploration of the intricacies of Islam and the inner psyche of the Muslim world. In it, Husain recounts his youthful attraction to fundamentalism and the role of moderate Muslims in combating extremism.

Marwa al-Sabouni, the architect who wrote The Battle for Home while living under siege in Syria, talking about how city design can contribute to conflict and the role of architecture in Syria’s peaceful redevelopment.

Juno Dawson, the award-winning UK author whose eleven young adult novels and two LGBTI ‘guides to life’ explore sexuality, gender and mental health in writing for younger readers.

The newly announced guests join Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists for The New Yorker Ronan Farrow (on Power, Abuse and Facing Facts) television critic Emily Nussbaum (on Culture, Criticism and TV Today), who will appear as part of the MEL&NYC program in partnership with the Wheeler Centre.

‘On July 17th we will launch our full program into the world, expanding our concept of the way words are traditionally interrogated at a literary Festival,’ our artistic director Marieke Hardy said. ‘We invite all audiences, new friends and old, to be part of a bigger conversation about writing in all its forms.’


The full MWF18 program will be released on Tuesday 17 July, with tickets on sale Friday 20 July. 

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