The Salon Series

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at Conversation Quarter, State Library VictoriaBook now

Fighting Form

At our summer Salon, we’re spotlighting artists who push formal limits and play outside the boundaries. Their work challenges assumptions and experiments with convention – whether fiction, poetry or music. Splash around in uncharted waters, colour outside the lines, start in the middle of the story, eat dessert first, and surrender to the unbounded and unexpected – who knows what you’ll discover.

The event will open with poetry from Walter Kadiki, a storyteller known for his masterful performances weaving together signed poetry and visual vernacular.

Then, Miles Franklin-award winner Michelle de Kretser will discuss her funny and complex new novel, Scary Monsters, which uses shifting perspectives and a reversible format to explore the disorienting monsters of racism, ageism and misogyny.

Finally, spectacular one-man-soundscape Great Earthquake will close out the evening with a transporting, richly layered musical performance.

Join us for a night of creative delights, hosted by journalist and critic Fiona Gruber. You can also enjoy a drink from our bar, which will be open before, during and after the event.

This event will be Auslan interpreted.

Presented in partnership with State Library Victoria

The bookseller for this event is Readings

You must have a pre-booked ticket to attend in person. Please note, in line with current public health orders, all guests are required to be double vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to visit the State Library of Victoria. Guests must show proof of their vaccination status upon arrival and register their details through the Victorian Government QR code service. By purchasing a ticket to this event, you are confirming you are eligible to attend and will adhere to the venue's conditions of entry.

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Portrait of Walter Kadiki

Walter Kadiki

Walter Kadiki is a master of weaving signed poetry and visual vernacular into poetic performance. He is known for his profound and engaging signed poetry and storytelling that bridges cultures and is accessible to deaf and hearing audiences.

He has delivered workshops for young people across Australia in Deaf Slam Poetry, has worked with community groups to create the poems such as Butterfly Hands, which was performed at Federation Square in Melbourne, and in Geelong. Kadiki has performed his signed poetry at the Melbourne Fringe Festival , Melbourne 2005 Deaflympics - Celebration of a possibility projection, Canberra Parliament and various events across Australia. 

Portrait of Michelle de Kretser

Michelle de Kretser

Michelle de Kretser was born in Sri Lanka and emigrated to Australia when she was 14. Educated in Melbourne and Paris, Michelle has worked as a university tutor, an editor, and a book reviewer.

Portrait of Great Earthquake

Great Earthquake

Noah Symons is Great Earthquake — a one-man band, self-taught looping machine. Noah is focused on making music with melody and flow using post-punk basslines, afro-guitars, hypnotic vocals that float by alongside dubbed-out melodica and the huge blast of drums.

Portrait of Fiona Gruber

Fiona Gruber

Writer and broadcaster Fiona Gruber writes regularly on the arts for the Australian and reviews books, theatre and film for the Times Literary Supplement in the UK.

How much?

$35 and $30 concession and State Library Victoria Cultural Members, plus a one-off transaction fee of $4 per order. Tickets for First Nations people are free.Book now

The Salon Series

The salon has a long and storied history as a space for the discussion of art, ideas, politics, literature and philosophy. Salons have been meeting sites for cultural figures from E.M. Forster and Virginia Woolf, to Picasso, Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald. Whether it’s A’Lelia Walker in 1920s Harlem, Marcel Proust in 19th century Paris, or Melbourne’s very own Heide Circle, salons have invigorated cultural and intellectual life across the globe.

In partnership with State Library Victoria, we’re bringing you a series of seasonal creative salons celebrating Australia’s most exciting thinkers and performers. With old-school flair and a contemporary spin, we’ll hear from writers, poets and musicians whose work is defining the current-day cultural agenda and will resonate for years to come.

So grab a glass of wine, pull up a chair, and dive into a vibrant evening of creativity and culture.


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