Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire founded Women of Letters, a literary salon in Melbourne, Australia, in 2010 to celebrate the art of the epistolary tradition in an age of 140-character missives. The bestselling series presents a collection of notable female authors, musicians, and actors writing and reading a carefully composed letter following the predetermined theme of the evening. This special SXSW installment speaks to the energy of all three conferences. Among the writers slated for this coed evening of literary performance are former Dresden Doll-turned-folk singer and controversial Kickstarterer Amanda Palmer and her husband, novelist Neil Gaiman, who weaves the fantastic, macabre, and mythological into stories and graphic novels for children and adults. Also on deck is minimalist filmmaker John Sayles, whose quiet films like Lone Star and Honeydripper seethe with social critique. Singer Jenny Owen Youngs, in town to showcase her peppy indie rock at SXSW, joins the genteel fray, as does Emma Swift, a writer, singer, and radio personality from Sydney, Australia. Canadian rapper Buck 65 rounds out this deliciously eclectic program.
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