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This page is part of the 2008 FESTIVAL ARCHIVE.
Visit the current Melbourne Writers Festival website for details of the next festival.
Message from the Festival Director

Welcome to the 23rd annual Melbourne Writers Festival. I am thrilled to present this year’s program – it is without a doubt the largest and richest program we’ve presented and the breadth and depth of the talent is dazzling.

Last year, two of the most eloquent festival events concerned the poetry of WH Auden. This year, join us in St Pauls Cathedral where we have chosen to celebrate the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova. Akhmatova lived through the darkest period of twentieth century Russian history and her poetry was a beacon of hope for the ordinary citizens.

The other events which make my heart beat faster are both on the evening of Sunday 24 August when we link with our concurrent sister festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, by satellite. For the first time our audiences will be able to connect to Edinburgh’s event with Salman Rushdie and their audiences will be able to connect with Nam Le here in Melbourne. I hope this is just the start of a long and productive relationship between these two great festivals. This partnership has been made possible with generous funding from the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria.

Finally, I’d like to welcome you to our new home in Federation Square and the Australian Centre of the Moving Image where most of our festival will take place. Please do take time to study fully our hard copy program and our website with its more detailed information – circle madly, choose wisely and then join us and your friends in your lunch hour, after work, or on the weekends for ten days of entertainment and enlightenment.

Rosemary Cameron

Program details

Click here for program details including day by day listings and pdfs of the hard copy program.

Special events

Food, debates, films, walks
From food to debates, film to walks - click here for details


Festival Club
Festival Club - click here for details

Professional Development
For professional development - click here for details

Writers by cultural group

Indigenous writers - Click here

Russian writers - Click here

Chinese writers - Click here

British writers - Click here

New Zealand writers - Click here

Italian writers - Click here

Canadian writers - Click here

French writers - Click here

Jewish writers - Click here

German writers - Click here

Vietnamese writers - Click here

US writers - Click here
Search the 2008 program