Festival Guide for Curious Souls and Bohemian Spirits

From theatre and performance to spoken word and song – MWF18 is a tribute to the myriad ways words inspire and unite us. For curious souls and bohemian spirits, we’ve compiled our favourite events from the bookish arts party that is this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival.


Sally Seltmann: Lovesome: Is it possible to separate your heart from your art, or are the two irrevocably entwined? Join singer-songwriter and author Sally Seltmann (Lovesome) in conversation with ABC and Eurovision superstar Myf Warhurst about love, the creative process and women who make art. 25 Aug, 11.30am


Walk: Melbourne Through Rainbow-Coloured Glasses: Stroll alongside creative duo The Gents as they walk down memory lane, reminiscing on 16 years of life and love in Melbourne’s CBD. Exploring the personal and political, the walk will highlight places of historical significance for Melbourne’s LGBTI community. 25 Aug, 2pm


Staged: Carrying the World: The best of a decade-long international poetry career is brought to the stage in a theatrical performance of Maxine Beneba Clarke’s collection Carrying The World, traversing a love–hate relationship with words and a young black girl pushing back against authority. 25 Aug, 4pm


 Year of the Dog: Chinese Astrology: Chinese astrology expert Edgar Lok Tin explains the role of animals in the Chinese zodiac and what these animals mean for us, while reflecting on life in the Year of the Dog and looking forward to next year. (Spoiler, it’s the Pig.) 26 Aug, 11.30am


How I Survived: Samantha Maiden & Sally Rugg: Samantha Maiden is a political journalist and Sally Rugg is an LGBTI activist. They’ll speak frankly and openly on how their surprising friendship has steered them through Australia’s marriage equality vote and shared family history. 27 Aug, 6pm


The Literary Body: In a world where women’s bodies are constantly politicised, MWF hosts a night of naked women with spoken word performances and responses to famous feminist texts from Maude Davey, Krissy Kneen, Miss Jane Doe, Leisa Prowd and Frankie Valentine. Shed your clothes at the door. 31 Aug, 7.30pm


Life of Pikelet: Meet & Greet: Meet Australia’s favourite pooch! Adorable rescue staffy Pikelet and his brother Pumpernickel are on hand for pats and pawtographs. 1 Sep, 5.30pm


Dave Graney’s Poetry Jam: Troubadour, raconteur, and sartorial prodigy Dave Graney performs selected readings from the works of controversial genius John Cowper Powys – described by critics as both ‘the only novelist in English comparable to Dostoyevsky’ and ‘a tedious, long-winded bore.’ 1 Sep, 7pm


Duets: Rob Snarski & Romy Vager: Romy Vager, frontwoman of one of Melbourne’s most exciting rising acts, RVG, isn’t used to answering personal questions, preferring to let her music do the talking. Now for MWF, she’s talking to globe-trotting, velvet-voiced troubadour, Rob Snarski. 2 Sep, 2.30pm


Closing Night Party: You Are There: The final night of MWF celebrates what it means to let go, as six writers pay tribute to something or someone loved and lost in a night of ritual, healing and farewell. Featuring readings from Ali Cobby Eckermann, Jessie Cole, Sophie Cunningham, Kate Holden, Mariam Issa and Maria Tumarkin; a full musical performance by the soaringly beautiful Megan Washington. Hosted by Rafeif Ismail. 2 Sep, 7pm