Friday, July 13, 2012
Writers’ festival brings debate, inspiration and great tales to Christchurch
The Press Christchurch Writers' Festival is returning to the garden city after a four-year wait and is bringing its widest ever programme to thrill and entertain audiences.
The festival was launched today and encompasses a programme of lively discussions, Survivor Poetry, an afternoon tea with restaurant pioneer Fleur Sullivan, Speed Date an Author for secondary students, a PechaKucha night, writers’ workshops, a schools programme, and performance and visual art.
Festival director Marianne Hargreaves says, “I think the diversity is a good reflection of what the festival is all about – celebrating writing in all its forms. With the programme this year we truly do have something for everyone.”
An incredible mix of international and local writing talent will explore their work and a range of issues. Top international writers include Joanne Harris (UK), author of Peaches for Monsieur Le Curé; John Boyne - left - John Boyne Image - Line Drawing from Noah Barleywater (Ireland), author of The Absolutist and The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket; and award-winning writers Chris Cleave (UK) and Kate Grenville-left- (Australia). There is also a strong line-up of New Zealand writers, including Emily Perkins, Keri Hulme (right-The Press), Tim Wilson, Laurence Fearnley, Cilla McQueen and Nicky Hager.
Award-winning science journalists and academics will discuss the future of Antarctica. Prize-winning British novelist and journalist John Lanchester will turn a bitingly funny eye on the global financial crisis as he discusses his book Whoops! Why everyone owes everyone and no one can pay and the social ramifications of this in his new novel Capital. Perennial favourite Joe Bennett will be talking on Double Happiness: How Bullshit Works.
Another big focus for the festival is crime. In that vein, acclaimed biographer Joanne Drayton will be talking about her new biography, The Search for Anne Perry. Drayton gained unprecedented access to Perry, an internationally renowned crime author who was once better known as former Christchurch schoolgirl and convicted teenage murderer Juliet Hulme.
Fittingly, some of the country's finest legal minds, two renowned crime writers and Christchurch East MP Lianne Dalziel will debate the proposition 'The female of the species is more deadly than the male' in The Great New Zealand Crime Debate. This will be followed by the presentation of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel 2012.
Hargreaves hopes Christchurch audiences will find the festival compelling, topical, varied, inspirational and fun. “We've had a lot of stories to tell ourselves in the last two years but they haven't all been particularly pleasant. Hopefully this festival offers many chances to lose yourself in a wide range of stories, and celebrates how essential and liberating it is to share them.”
The festival will run for four days from 30 August to 2 September based in the Geo Dome at Hagley Park and tickets are priced at just $16. Tickets are on sale from 13 July. For the full programme and details, visit http://chchwritersfest.co.nz.