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Meet the first faces of MWF19: Kim Gordon, DeRay Mckesson and Deborah Lipstadt

Ahead of our full program release on 10 July, we’re elated to announce some of world’s biggest names in literature, civil rights activism and music in a sneak peek of the authors and artists joining the program from 30 August to 8 September, with tickets to their events on sale now.

Melbourne Writers Festival is pleased to welcome musician and memoirist Kim Gordon, Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson and Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt to the program.

Our artistic director Marieke Hardy said the guests would open three entirely different windows on the world for festival goers.

“It’s absolutely thrilling to announce these superstars are coming to Melbourne,” Ms Hardy said. “Each of them is a trailblazer. Kim Gordon revolutionised alternative music and changed perceptions of women in music. Deborah Lipstadt has unpicked false history for us, while DeRay Mckesson stands on the front lines in the war against racism. I can’t wait to hear their stories and find out what they see in the world around us; what they fear, what they hope for and what they love.”

Tickets to pre-release speaker events are on sale now.


Kim Gordon: In Conversation
Sunday 1 September, 4pm

Kim Gordon, one of the most important figures in rock music of the last three decades, is a co-founder of Sonic Youth and one half of guitar duo Body/Head. In addition to her music career, she has received international acclaim for her work as a visual artist, writer, actress, and designer. In this MWF showcase, she speaks with Fee B-Squared about her storied career.

Supported by 3RRR 102.7FM

Book Now


The Fifth Estate: Antisemitism
Monday 2 September, 6pm

The past decade has seen an alarming rise in antisemitic sentiment the world over, from violent attacks on synagogues by far-right extremists to the growing concern of hostile tolerance towards Jews in left-liberal circles. Australian scholar Dvir Abramovich and acclaimed historian Deborah Lipstadt speak with Sally Warhaft about this growing tide, and what can be done to end it.

Supported by the Wheeler Centre and Melbourne Jewish Book Week

Book Now


DeRay Mckesson: On the Other Side of Freedom
Tuesday 3 September, 7pm

Civil rights activist and author DeRay Mckesson is one of the leading voices in the Black Lives Matter movement, and his new book reflects not only on his own journey to activism, but how the nature of the world is changing. He speaks to Benjamin Law about activism, the power of politics translated through social media and why it’s so important to keep hope alive.

Book Now


The full MWF19 program will be released on Wednesday 10 July, with tickets on sale from 10am, Thursday 11 July. 

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