The Midsumma Festival literary program in Melbourne looks exciting. Check the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art which is hosting a series of three free public Word is Out talkfests, starting Thursday 29 January with American sound poet John Giorno and partner Ugo Rondinone.

Giorno, of course, was a friend and contemporary of Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs and has created more than 20 recorded albums and ten books during a career spanning four decades. He will perform with Melbourne writers Michael Farrell, Margaret Vandeleur, Will Day, George Taleporos, Moira Finucane, Steven Dawson and Spiro Panagirakos.

Other events include Fine & Dandy: The Rise and Practice of a Queer Aesthetic on 30 January which will question the nature of 'queer' and how it governs the principles of art with Nikki Sullivan, the author of An Introduction to Queer Theory; Robert Reynolds, author of From Camp to Queer: Remaking the Australian Homosexual and History on the Couch: Essays in History and Psychoanalysis and broadcaster and film critic Deb Verhoeven. The following night, February 1, the Sacred Sites discussion will survey queer and Indigenous aesthetics as visionaries and academics discuss our place in the world.

All nights are free.


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