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Three diverse female writers join Melbourne Recital Centre’s Writers-in-Residence program this year, in partnership with the Emerging Writers Festival.

Following the Writers-in-Residence program launch in 2017 with Australian author and journalist Chloe Hooper, and continuing partnership with Emerging Writers Festival from 2018, meet this year’s Writers-in-Residence.

Kiara Lindsay

Kiara Lindsay

Kiara is a poet with a background in classical cello. She is interested in verse narrative and art criticism as kindling for further art-making. 

Who are three artists who inspire you? 
Eileen Myles 
Alok Vaid-Menon 
Dorothy Porter

Tell us about your writing style
I mostly write poetic narrative, either nonfiction or imagined. I write down what I can’t say aloud.

What role does music play in your life? 
I most commonly listen to one album per week on repeat. In those seven days, I repeatedly transform and find countless ways to get inside it. I don’t easily find that elsewhere. 

What’s the best book you’ve read recently? 
Heat and Light by Elen van Neerven.

Caitlin McGregor

Caitlin McGregor

Caitlin is an essayist. She is interested in the essay as a potential site for intimacy and honesty and not quite knowing what you’re getting at but writing towards it anyway.

Who are three artists that inspire you?   
Annie Dillard
Claudia Rankine
Georgia Maq

Tell us about your writing style
I try to write as lucidly as I can about things I don’t fully understand. I like to take curiosity as my starting point—I write to scratch itches.

What role does music play in your life?
I like music, all kinds, and I listen to it a lot. I’m not a musician myself, which I regret—although I have been trying to teach myself to play the guitar. I was excited recently when I earned some blisters from practising chords.

One of my favourite things is when I’m watching live music and I catch this particular look musicians sometimes exchange with each other as they’re playing—in The Children’s Bach I think Helen Garner refers to it as a ‘smile of tender complicity’. There’s a fascinating introversion/intimacy dynamic in music that makes me envious of musicians.

Currently my favourite song is one my son made up when he was two, about chicken and chips. I sometimes sing Phoebe Bridgers songs to my cats.

What's the best book you've read recently
Maria Tumarkin’s Axiomatic.

Xanthea O’Connor

Xanthea O’Connor

Xanthea O’Connor is a musician and writer with a background in music journalism, band management and radio. She’s currently interested in the possibilities of incorporating field recordings into her essays and criticism. 

Who are the artists who inspire you?
Fiona Apple
Mei Saraswati
Miranda July

Tell us about your writing style
My essays are cathartic to write and often something I wish I’d read when I was younger. I’m experimenting with blending music and sound into my writing, with the intent of making it a more immersive experience for the reader and myself. 

What role does music play in your life?
Music is my longest enduring friend. The kind of friend that has caused me some of the most intense grief and greatest joy, but I wouldn’t know where I’d be without it. 

What's the best book you've read recently?Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl – Carrie Brownstien I grew up in a quiet Perth suburb, so my childhood was about about as far from the Riot Grrl movement as it could get. Reading this book was like sneaking into my cool big sister’s bedroom, except I don’t have a big sister. You know what I mean. It was thrilling.

Our 2019 Writers-in-Residence will be sharing their creative responses to and interpretations of a range of music experiences at the Centre throughout the year here on Soundescapes. They will also be taking part in an event during the Emerging Writers Festival, which runs from 19-29 June 2019.

2019 Writers-in-Residence with their Mentor, Adalya Nash-Hussein

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