‘A Sprinkle of Party Glitter’: Meet Marieke, MWF’s new AD

by Marieke Hardy, MWF Artistic Director

I am beyond giddy to begin my adventures with MWF and the team of goodhearts here. Stepping into Lisa Dempster’s formidable shoes is both daunting and a great honour – I’ve loved the world and community Lisa has built over the last five years and can only doff my cap in awe at her deft skill as an AD. The question is, as a slavish bibliophile and ‘person of theatre background’, to what magical waters am I going to steer the Good Ship MWF in 2018?

Well obviously I can’t give away all the surprises I have planned because if I told you I’d have to kill you and I am informed by the relevant authorities that this is what would be strongly referred to as ‘starting off on the wrong foot’. However! It would be remiss of me to not at least give you a small hint. To begin with, I might suggest packing a pair of dancing shoes along with your latest tome during MWF 2018 as I tend to favour a shindig and plan to sprinkle some magic party glitter across its pages.

I wouldn’t know how to make a conventional writers festival even if I was forced to go to university and get a degree in Conventional Artistic Direction for Literary Festivals (note to self: check if this exists), so I guess I’ll stick to what I know and create left-of-centre experiential artistic events that bring together humans from rich and diverse backgrounds to revel in the beauty of words and books and artists and art. There will be music, there will be theatre, there will be performance, there will hopefully be opportunities for audiences and artists alike to step outside of their creative comfort zone, and there will be at least one glitter cannon exploding at some point during the Festival, probably every time Helen Garner enters a room and we all genuflect.

Oh, and gin. Lots of gin. Because what’s a literary party with new friends without buckets of gin?


Marieke is a curator, screenwriter, artist, author and immersive theatre maker. She has penned regular columns for The Age, The Drum and Frankie magazine, and written for many television shows. She is co-curator of international literary salon Women of Letters and a collection of her essays was released through Allen and Unwin in 2011. She is artistic director of MWF and creates secret art parties that are produced anonymously.