Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Thursday, September 08, 2016
Final wrap from WORD CHRIUSTCHURCH
a festival we had! Our team has been recovering from what was a
crazy, illuminating, stimulating, challenging and entertaining few
days. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. The Piano proved
itself to be a stunning venue, perfectly suited to our needs and the
needs of our audience. We took some risks and experimented with other
pop-up venues, and they worked well, adding character and (a pinch of
controlled chaos) to the programme. All in all, it was exhausting,
exhilarating and wonderful from our side.
you for your huge and enthusiastic support and attendance. With more
than 11,000 individual session seats filled across the festival and
schools programmes, and including the upcoming sell-out Andy
Griffiths shows, we have increased our audience by a whopping 50 per
cent on last festival.
are grateful for all the media coverage the festival received, the
enthusiastic tweeters and bloggers, and for those who simply talked
about the festival and spread the word.
There are so many high
points, but here are a few:
The introduction of the New Regent St pop-up festival
created a real buzz and warmth out on the street and in the bars on
the freezing opening night. A huge thanks to our co-ordinator
Sionainn Byrnes for making it so welcoming.
The Friday night Isaac Theatre Royal events, 2050 and
The Stars Are on Fire, both hosted expertly by Kim Hill, attracted an
audience of 870 over both events and led to a visiting Canadian
literary festival director calling them “world-class”.
Speaking of Canadians, everybody fell in love with
storyteller Ivan Coyote at the Stars Are on Fire, and much like Anis
Mojgani did in 2014, Ivan picked up followers at all their events
until their Sunday morning session was a sell-out, with other festival
writers lining the walls. Tears, laughter and a standing ovation
Doughty similarly charmed and challenged everyone with her take on
death, smilingly describing what happens to your body when you are
cremated, declaring that after you die, your cat will eat
your eyeballs given a chance, but also offering up some serious food
for thought around issues of death and dying. Caitlin’s session was
also a sell-out.
Bloomsbury South session at the Christchurch Art Gallery sold out
tickets and then everyone turned around and bought Peter Simpson’s
book at the subsequent launch, cleaning UBS out of all their stock.
issues were explored: euthanasia, grief, the future of our cities,
water, the environment, migration, sex work, indigenous rights, the
future of journalism, with all sessions being full and with high
audience attention and engagement. It was wonderful to see
Christchurch people coming together to discuss the things that
was also some serious entertainment: The Unicorn brought the house
down with his impromptu PechaKucha talk; The Spinoff hosted some late
Saturday night shenanigans at C1; Flying Nun fans were treated to
some extra songs by Graeme Downes (The Veraines) and Hollie Fullbrook
(Tiny Ruins) long after the sell-out session was over; Hear My Voice
had electrifying performances in spoken word that left the audience
swooning; the Great New Zealand Crime Debate was as raucous as we
predicted, if not more so; and the festival closed with the Nerd
Degree, another belly-laugh-inducing session with special guests Alok
Jha and the very quick-witted and funny Caitlin Doughty.
you missed any sessions, fear not! We will be putting a selection of
audio recordings up on our website as podcasts in the near future.
would like to send out a huge thank you to all of our sponsors,
patrons, supporters and all of our writers and performers and
chairpeople and publishers, but most of all, we’d like to thank you,
our audience, who turned out in such huge numbers and showed your
King, Marianne Hargreaves, WORD Christchurch Trustees and staff.
Thanks to Booksellers NZ and Christchurch
City Libraries once again for their incredible coverage of festival
events so you can read about sessions you weren't able to
Blog on the festival here
Christchurch City Libraries Blog on the festival here
Wrap up in Sunday Star Times here
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
Justin Cronin, author of the international smash hit The Passage,
will be in town for a special satellite festival event next Thursday.
Stephen King called The
Passage ‘enthralling … read this book and the ordinary
world disappears’. Now, the PEN/ Hemingway Award-winner brings us the
conclusion to his epic trilogy with The City of Mirrors.
EVENING WITH JUSTIN CRONIN
15 September, 7.30pm The Piano,
156 Armagh St
Book tickets here
you bought online tickets to the festival, you will receive an email
very soon with a link to our survey - fill it out and be in to win
some fabulous prizes. If you didn’t personally buy tickets online but
still attended sessions, we’d love to hear from you! Go here (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NV2S7TM)
to fill out the survey and tell us what you thought of WORD 2016.