The program for the 2012 Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF), which will be held between 23 August and 2 September, has been launched and tickets are now available.
More than 400 international and local writers will participate in more than 350 events in this year’s festival, which will be the last under the directorship of Steve Grimwade. The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Enquire Within’—‘this festival is about questioning our place in the world, as men and women; as lovers, friends and partners; as workers and as global citizens,’ says Grimwade.
As previously reported by Bookseller+Publisher, British actor, director and author of several biographies Simon Callow will give the festival’s opening keynote address on ‘Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World’—also the title of his most recent book. Callow will deliver the address in Melbourne on the opening night of the festival and in Ballarat in regional Victoria on the following night.
Among the international authors featured in this year’s program are Emily Perkins (NZ), Richard Halloway (UK), Kwame Anthony Appiah (US), Andrew Motion (UK), David Vann (US), Eowyn Ivey (US), Chris Cleave (UK), Antony Beevor (UK), John Boyne (Ireland), Åsa Larsson (Sweden), John Lanchester (UK), Joumana Haddad (Lebanon), Uzodinma Iweala (Nigeria), Martha Nussbaum (US), Sefi Atta (Nigeria), and Patrick Gale (UK).
Local authors participating in the festival include Germaine Greer, Robert Dessaix, Geoffrey Blainey, Chloe Hooper, Gillian Mears, Charlotte Wood, Gerald Murnane, Drusilla Modjeska, Susan Johnson, Elliot Perlman, Rodney Hall, Benjamin Law, Sophie Cunningham, Thomas Keneally, Peter Doherty, Stephanie Laurens, Steve Bracks, Maxine McKew, Margaret Simons, Michale Robotham, Rochelle Jackson, Honey Brown, Michael Duffy and Rachael Treasure.
One of the big drawcards for this year’s festival will be The New Yorker series of events, with the magazine’s editorial director Henry Finder, art critic Peter Schjeldahl, staff writer David Grann, pop-music critic Sasha Frere-Jones and cartoonist Roz Chast. The New Yorker program will feature nine events, including the keynote event, ‘An Evening with The New Yorker’ on Friday 24 August, and a business lunch.
The Big Ideas series of ‘thought-provoking discussions’ will return to the festival this year and will address issues including the relationship between literature and global citizenship, and the past and future of US President Barack Obama’s foreign policy. The New News Conference will also return this year with a combination of free and ticketed events. Among the Australian editors, journalists and commentators participating in the conference are Louise Adler, Gay Alcorn, Nick McKenzie, Andrew Crook, Neil Mitchell, Chris Uhlmann and Derryn Hinch.
The MWF Schools’ Program will run from 27-30 August and will explore the interaction of new technology and writing, multiculturalism in Australia, identity and the benefits of writing with music. As previously reported by Bookseller+Publisher, authors featured in the schools’ program include John Boyne, Linda Sue Park, Andrew McGahan, Emily Rodda, Morris Gleitzman, Terry Denton and Jackie French.
The festival bookshop will be operated by the Dymocks team from the 234 Collins Street store again this year. The store will operate an onsite Dymocks Official Bookstore at Federation Square for the duration of the festival, and will also sell books at additional venues throughout the event.
Visit www.mwf.com.au for this year’s full program.