Festival Program

City Program

Masculinity on the Ropes

Sun 12 Sep, 4pm
The Wheeler Centre, Performance Space

As conversations around vulnerability, trauma and healing abound, many men are learning that long-held notions of masculinity and ‘manning up’ are not only limiting, they are causing real harm. Hear from memoirists Lech Blaine and Rick Morton—appearing live via video—and essayist Matthew Sini, appearing on stage, in a discussion about men’s complicated relationship with stoicism, love, and empathy, and its role in grief, trauma and redemption. Blaine’s Car Crash examines Australia’s larrikin brand of toxic masculinity and how to recover from catastrophe when you’ve been taught to stare down heartbreak. Morton’s My Year of Living Vulnerably charts his hard-won healing from childhood neglect and complex PTSD. They speak with on-stage moderator Ronnie Scott.

Supported by Maurice Blackburn


1 hour


Event artists

Lech Blaine is a writer from country Queensland. His first book Car Crash: A Memoir was published by Black Inc in March 2021. He is the author of the latest Quarterly Essay about class and masculinity. Lech's work has been published in Best Australian Essays, Kill Your Darlings, The Griffith Review, the Guardian and The Monthly.

Rick Morton is an award-winning journalist and author. My Year of Living Vulnerably (Fourth Estate, 2021) charts the rediscovery of love after a trauma diagnosis. His debut memoir One Hundred Years of Dirt became a national bestseller. Rick is the senior reporter at The Saturday Paper where he covers social policy, national affairs and science.

Ronnie Scott is a senior lecturer in the writing and publishing discipline at RMIT University and program manager of the Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing). He's a lead researcher on Folio: The Story of Australian Comics 1980-2020. His novel The Adversary (2020) was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Award and the ALS Gold Medal.

Matthew Sini is an essayist, playwright and fiction writer. His work engages with themes of class, masculinity, sexuality and the social impact of the internet. Matthew has been published in Meanjin, The Age, Overland Journal, Areo Magazine, Crikey and the ABC. He co-hosts Getting Lit, a literature podcast, and is currently finishing a novel.

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