Monday, October 17, 2011

Tauranga Arts Festival

There are some great sessions happening in the Books A Plenty-sponsored Literary Programme at the Arts Festival this year – and tickets are on sale now! Here’s a peek.
Thursday, October 27, Noon-1.15pm, True Fiction:
Dr Kirstine Moffatt of Waikato University talks to Jenny Pattrick (left) and Elizabeth Smither about the delights of merging fact and fiction – and the perils..
 A talented jeweller, Jenny has written the best-selling novels, The Denniston Rose and its sequel Heart of Coal, both of which required large amounts of historical research. The popularity of Denniston Rose has also prompted plans for a tourism venture.
Elizabeth, a poet and novelist, has long kept a series of “commonplace books”, noting quotes, ideas and events that appeal to her. Now she has published a sampling, revealing her eye for the unusual, the absurd and the thoughtful.  “And there is nothing, no pleasure, like sending the pen racing across the page.”
Thursday, October 27, 2-3pm, The Divine Miss M:
Katherine Mansfield smelled (according to Virginia Woolf), had a great brain (Bertrand Russell), was sexually promiscuous in a strait-laced period, was raised in comfort but lived in poverty but who, despite disappointment and illness, never stopped writing.
Her stories are still considered to be some of the best by a New Zealand author, 88 years after her tragically early death. Fiona Samuel, who has recently made Bliss, a movie for television about KM’s turbulent teenage years, and Jenny Pattrick, the 40th anniversary Mansfield Fellow who wrote in KM’s study at Villa Isola Bella in the south of France, discuss her enduring appeal and share some of their favourite excerpts.
Friday, October 28, Noon-1.15pm, Off thee Page:
Actor, writer, director and now head of development at South Pacific Pictures, Tim Balme joins actor/writer/director Fiona Samuel to talk about writing for the screen, how actors and directors use a script, and why scriptwriters don’t receive the same acknowledgement of playwrights or novelists.
When Tim left Otumoetai College, where he was mentored by Bob Addison, he applied for both Toi Whakaari, the New Zealand Drama School, and the renowned creative writing course at Victoria University. It turns out he knew what he was good at.
Bored by the extended breaks that are part of an acting career, Fiona tried script-writing – her first radio play for adults won a Mobil award. However, she lost out to Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh in the race to create a movie script based on the Parker-Hulme murder.
After her short films had been well received at overseas festivals, Fiona made the award-winning tele-movie Home Movie, as well as the critically acclaimed Pieces of My Heart and, most recently, Bliss.
The session will be chaired by Geoff Lealand of Waikato University’s Department of Screen and Media Studies.
Saturday, October 29, Noon-1.15pm, Saving the World:
Paul Gilding is an environmental activist who works with some of the planet’s largest corporations, someone who believes in living as “greenly” as possible but who has a firm grasp of economics – and his mission is to lead, inspire and motivate action on the global transition of society and the economy to sustainability, “and end to shopping”.
In conversation with Chris Laidlaw, Paul, who lives in Tasmania, will talk about his belief that we can get through global warming and the global financial meltdown, that these crises and others will serve to bring out the best in us.
Saturday, October 29, 2-3pm The Three Rs:
“I would build a mound on the front lawn, mount the ball, and line up the neighbour’s lawn on the other side of the street. The key was to swing through the ball so that connection was barely felt. The payoff was as immense as it was immediate. The perfectly struck ball would lift towards the power lines, spinning end over end to land with a pleasing drumming echo on the neighbour’s lawn.”
So writes Lloyd Jones (photo right-Michael Danner) in a recent essay about his childhood. The author of the award-winning The Book of Fame, a semi-fictional account of the 1905 All Blacks' tour of Europe, is in conversation with former All Black Chris Laidlaw, chewing the fat about the Rugby World Cup, All Blacks past and present, referees (!) and their love of the game.
Still regarded as one of this country’s best half-backs, Chris has had a varied career outside rugby – Rhodes scholar, diplomat, Race Relations Conciliator, an MP, and now a regional councillor and well-known broadcaster. His latest book is Somebody Stole My Game, a lament that the professional era is taking rugby into a crisis from which it may not recover.
Other sessions:
Friday, October 28, 2-3pm, Mister Jones with Lloyd Jones.
Sunday, October 30, Noon- 1pm, From the Heart with Dame Alison Holst.
Sunday, October 30, 2-3.15pm, Missing in Action, a debate on leadership, with Rod Oram, Dame Catherine Tizard and Paul Gilding.
Tickets to all sessions are $10 each ($8 with a TECT card). Booking fees apply. Get your tickets at Baycourt or go to
To see the full Literary programme, go to

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