If you missed it, you can catch up on this recording or you can listen to this podcast.


Words and music

View all events in this series

at The Wheeler Centre

Musically Speaking

When thinking about Melbourne as a City of Literature, we should be celebrating the extraordinary literary achievement of our songwriters.

Diverse, imaginative and daring, they’re an eclectic and talented bunch. Four of our much-loved musical talents come together to compare notes on process, on craft and on inspiration.


Add to calendar


Portrait of Rebecca Barnard

Rebecca Barnard

Rebecca Barnard is one of Australia’s most respected singer/songwriters who led the band Rebecca’s Empire.

Portrait of Clare Bowditch

Clare Bowditch

Clare Bowditch is a singer, writer, and master storyteller, who first began performing in Melbourne pubs when she was 16. Seven albums later, Clare has toured the country a million times and been awarded EG Best Female Artists (2011), Rolling Stone Woman of the Year for her Contribution to Culture (2010), Yen Young Woman of the Year (2008), and an ARIA Award for Best Female Artist (2006), plus half a dozen other ARIA nominations for her albums.

Portrait of Stephen Cummings

Stephen Cummings

Stephen Cummings is a celebrated singer/songwriter and former lead singer of the Sports, who had the late 70s classic “Who Listens to the Radio?”.

Portrait of Jess McGuire

Jess McGuire

Jess McGuire is a writer, DJ, broadcaster, and MC based in Melbourne. She appears regularly on ABC Local Radio and Double J as a reviewer and cultural commentator, and for many years she was the editor of pop culture website Defamer Australia. She is a former presenter of Triple R’s flagship Breakfasters show.

Words and music

All of our lives have soundtracks. We cherish certain songs that have meant something to us in our lives, lyrics that have helped us through tough times and inspired us to do better, or think differently. Similarly, everyone has a shortlist of seminal books, or short stories, or poems that have made a difference to them – pieces of writing that have formed who they are.

Who do our favourite writers listen to? What do the musicians we admire love to read? In each event, our guest writer will highlight two pieces of music that have inspired their writing, while our guest musician tells us about two pieces of writing that have helped shape their musical direction. We eavesdrop on their exchange of treasures, and the conversation that ensues.


More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.