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Our City of Literature

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at Deakin Edge, Federation Square

Ten Stories of Melbourne

The anniversary celebrations kick off with a gala night of readings and storytelling at Deakin Edge. Hear from ten brilliant writers – both established and emerging – who have made Melbourne home for either a short time or a lifetime. Where, for them, does Melbourne come alive on the page? Which classic stories and scenes of Melbourne are part of our literary DNA, and how are a new generation of writers remaking the city with words?

Presented in partnership with the Melbourne UNESCO City of Literature Office.

Readings will be our bookseller for this event.

This event will be Auslan interpreted.

Who?

Portrait of Tony Birch

Tony Birch

Tony Birch is the author of Ghost River, which won the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing, and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. He is also the author of Shadowboxing, and three short story collections – Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People.

Tony is a frequent contributor to ABC local and national radio, and a regular guest at writers’ festivals. He lives in Melbourne and is a Senior Research Fellow at Victoria University.

Portrait of Jane Rawson

Jane Rawson

Jane Rawson writes novels, novellas, stories and non-fiction, mostly about the environment. Her most recent novel, From the Wreck, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin, shortlisted for the Barbara Jefferis award and won the Aurealis Award for Science Fiction. She is from Canberra, has lived in Melbourne for 14 years, and is about to move to Tasmania.

Portrait of Alice Pung

Alice Pung

Alice Pung is the bestselling author of Her Father’s Daughter, which won the 2012 Western Australia Premier’s Literary Awards, and Unpolished Gem which won the 2007 Australian Book Industry Newcomer of the Year Award; and is also published in the UK, Germany, Indonesia and the US. She is also the editor of Growing Up Asian in Australia.

Portrait of Sumudu Samarawickrama

Sumudu Samarawickrama

Sumudu Samarawickrama is from Werribee. Her work has appeared in Boston Review, Overland, Meanjin and the Lifted Brow. She co-produced Sidekicked 2017 Melbourne Fringe Category Award Winner 'Best Words and Ideas'. She was a Witness Performance New Critic in 2018. She wants to use art to powerfully challenge the status quo of the structures that underpin our society. As part of FCAC’s West Writer's Group, she is interested in how anger can be a tool towards community. She is on a journey to decolonise her soul. 

Portrait of Jennifer Down

Jennifer Down

Jennifer Down is a writer, editor and translator. She was named a Sydney Morning Herald Young Novelist of the Year consecutively in 2017 and 2018 for her debut novel, Our Magic Hour, and her short story collection, Pulse Points. Pulse Points received the 2018 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, and the Queensland Literary Award – Steel Rudd Prize for Short Fiction. She lives in Melbourne.

Portrait of Moreno Giovannoni

Moreno Giovannoni

Moreno Giovannoni was born in San Ginese but grew up in a house on a hill, on a tobacco farm at Buffalo River in north-east Victoria. He is a freelance translator of long standing. The Fireflies of Autumn: And Other Tales of San Ginese is his first book.

Portrait of Eloise Grills

Eloise Grills

Eloise Grills is an award-winning visual essayist, a poet, educator and memoir editor for Scum Magazine. She was recently awarded the 2018 Woollahra Digital Literary Prize for Nonfiction for her Scum Magazine column, Diary of a Post-Teenage Girl, and The Lifted Brow & RMIT non/fictionLab Prize for Experimental Non-fiction (2018). She was a finalist for the mid-year Walkleys, and was recently named as a finalist for the 2018 Subbed In Chapbook Prize. 

Eloise's graphic novel, Sexy Female Murderesses, was published by Glom Press in December 2018. Her poetry collection, If you're sexy and you know it slap your hams, is forthcoming with Subbed In (April 2019). She tweets and grams as @grillzoid.

Portrait of Andy Griffiths

Andy Griffiths

Andy Griffiths is one of the most popular children’s authors in Australia. He has written over 30 books, including nonsense verse, short stories, comic novels and plays. His books have been New York Times bestsellers, won more than eighty children’s choice awards, been adapted as theatre shows, television cartoon series and sold more than twelve million copies worldwide. He is best known as the author of the JUST! series, The Day My Bum Went Psycho and, in recent years, the bestselling Treehouse series which has been translated into over thirty languages.

Portrait of Alexis Wright

Alexis Wright

Alexis Wright is a member of the Waanyi nation of the Gulf of Carpentaria and the renowned author of the prize-winning novels Carpentaria and The Swan Book. Her most recent book, Tracker, was awarded the 2018 Stella Prize. She holds the Boisbouvier Chair in Australian Literature at the University of Melbourne.

Portrait of Patricia Cornelius

Patricia Cornelius

Patricia Cornelius is a founding member of Melbourne Workers Theatre. She’s a playwright, novelist and film writer.

Our City of Literature

Melbourne has always been a city of literature. Our population is bursting with rabid readers and writers. We have the best libraries, the coolest bookshops, the finest festivals and some truly pioneering publishers. Also, Monkey Grip is set here and we are the best at wearing turtlenecks.

So it made perfect sense when, in 2008, Melbourne joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and made it official – becoming a designated City of Literature in recognition of our literary spirit. Today, there are 28 cities of literature around the world, including Edinburgh, Krakow, Iowa City and Reykjavik. In November, we’ll mark the anniversary of our designation over three days of fun and gloriously indoor celebrations.

Come and hear stories of our storied city – then, join a debate about the past, present and future of Melbourne as a City of Literature. What literary trends were we preoccupied with ten years ago, and what will our bookish future look like? What’s it like to live here – are we complacent or spoiled? What does it really mean to be named a City of Literature – does it help or hinder our culture? We’ll nut it out in two-day event modelled around the idea of a city parliament.

Presented in partnership with the Melbourne UNESCO City of Literature Office.

Presented in partnership with