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Festival Guide: Music as Muse

At Melbourne Writers Festival, we celebrate words in all their forms, both spoken and sung. As well as some of the biggest names in music – Cold Chisel’s Don Walker and Ben Folds, to name a few – we’ve got a host of sessions with artists waxing lyrical on the art of songwriting, and how it plucks at our creative heartstrings.


Nocturnal: Black & Bright x MWF
Friday 6 September, 7pm
Blak & Bright Festival and MWF team up with Melbourne Museum to present a special Nocturnal event. You’re invited to get loose amongst the exhibits while celebrating fresh First Nations beats and bards. Featuring a full set from hip hop hard-hitter Birdz, interdisciplinary artist DRMNGNOW, and electro-tribal pop duo The Merindas. Dance floor mesmerist Soju Gang and DJ KYAANZ spin tunes throughout the night to keep the party going.



Muses of Music
Saturday 7 September, 11.30am
Musician Cash Savage and her wife, Archer Magazine founder Amy Middleton, and musical couple Harry James Angus and Emily Lubitz, discuss the complexities of writing and singing about someone you love. With Clare Bowditch.


Shayne Carter: Dead People I Have Known
Saturday 7 September, 1pm
The singer of trailblazing New Zealand band Straitjacket Fits, Shayne P Carter, has not only survived a rock‘n’roll lifestyle for decades, but also a childhood shaped by violence and addiction. He talks about his memoir Dead People I Have Known with Peter Fenton.


Imagine Me and You: Harry James Angus & Emily Lubitz
Saturday 7 September, 4pm
Harry James Angus is one of the lead musicians in The Cat Empire. His wife, Emily Lubitz of band Tinpan Orange, is also a singer-songwriter. They have three children. How do they juggle their artistic careers with nurturing their family and each other? With Emily Ulman.


Miles and Simone: Endings
Saturday 7 September, 7.30pm

Country music duo Miles and Simone are renowned for ‘lonesome seaside lullabies and heartbreaker ballads’. They bring their lovelorn crooning to a special performance at MWF19’s Divorce Court – singing melodies of hurt, regret, loneliness and remorse.



Teenage Heartthrobs
Saturday 7 September, 11.30am

What did those snake-hipped, doe-eyed pin-ups we stuck to our bedroom walls in the heady days of adolescence – the rock stars, sitcom leads, sporting heroes – teach us about ourselves, our sexuality, our identity, our future lovers? Four artists gather to confess their once-secret teen passions, from film and TV, music and literature. Featuring Sloane CrosleyDaniel Mallory OrtbergYumi Stynes, and Myf Warhurst. With Thomas Jaspers.


Need some more music in your MWF experience? Browse our Duets series featuring some of the country’s top singer-songwriters, including Tina Arena, Archie Roach, Birdz, Vivien Goldman and more.