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Tony Birch


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Tony Birch is one of Australia’s best, and best-loved, storytellers. Birch writes with fierce compassion. His prose is intimate, personal and tender, but always deeply political, concerned with challenging anything – person, power, portrayal – that would leave the dignity of a human life disregarded. A perennial Wheeler Centre – and Montalto – favourite, who better to welcome Books and Ideas at Montalto back after its latest lockdown-induced hiatus?

Over a wonderfully long lunch, Birch and host Bec Kavanagh will discuss his two newest books: Dark as Last Night, a stunning collection of stories about the formative power of human connection; and the poetry collection Whisper Songs, a lyrical interrogation of colonial archives.

Presented in partnership with Montalto

The bookseller for this event is Antipodes Bookshop and Gallery

Please note that in line with the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 public health orders, all guests are required to be double vaccinated in order to visit and dine at Montalto. Guests must show proof of their vaccination status upon arrival.


Tony Birch

Tony Birch holds the Boisbouvier Chair in Australian Literature at Melbourne University. He is the author of three novels, five short fiction collections, and two poetry books. In 2023 he will release a new novel, Women and Children. ... Read more

Portrait of Bec Kavanagh
Bec Kavanagh

Bec Kavanagh is a Melbourne-based writer and academic whose work examines the representation of women’s bodies in literature. She has appeared at the Melbourne and Sydney Writers Festivals and on Radio National’s Books and Arts Daily. Bec has judged a number of literary prizes, including the V... Read more



33 Shoreham Road Red Hill South Victoria 3937

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Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.