Melbourne Writers Festival & an impersonation of Bob Brown

Illustration by Luke Marcatili
Illustration by Luke Marcatili

Want to see me on a stage at Melbourne Writers Festival? I’ll be posing as an author at two Melbourne Writers Festival events, a ‘Silver Screen Science’ session featuring the movie Outbreak, and a session with two of my favourite-ever co-panellists, Michael Green and James Bradley, talking about whether climate change is the new apocalypse (fun!).

If you’d rather see me at floor-level with a fortifying drink in my hand, come to the announcement of this year’s Viva la Novella winners – my novella Formaldehyde is shortlisted and if it wins it’ll be available on the night.

If you’d prefer to see me in an audience, I reckon I’ll be going to most of Patrick Allington’s sessions, Mireille Juchau and James Bradley on novel ideas, Eleanor Catton on reading, Kelly Link on the new gothic, and Naomi Klein firing me up for a revolution (I’m ready).

Meanwhile, over at Seizure I’ve been impersonating Bob Brown as part of Patrick Allington’s super series Rhetoric. As Patrick says:

Julia Baird has written that, ‘Political speech-making in Australia today is almost completely lacking in thunderbolts. Political oratory is a lost art, and we are all poorer for it . . .We are all craving inspiration, and leadership, but are deeply bored.’ I agree, which is one reason that I have asked several Australian writers to write a speech on behalf of a politician of their choice. Australia is full of savvy and subtle wordsmiths, and I’d also argue that it is full of political figures and other citizens who do actually give a shit. And yet our national conversation has become straitjacketed, tenaciously earnest, resistant to shades of grey, and – most especially – bogged down in rancour for rancour’s sake. Rhetoric is a response – a fun response, I hope – to these concerns.

Find out why the octopus is our only hope, as I channel Bob Brown speaking to the last remnants of humanity as they’re about to be overwhelmed by a firestorm…


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