Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Whales, Time Travel and Coming of Age:
All Part of
New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week

Three celebrated international authors are now joining award-winning New Zealand writers in an already glittering line-up at the 2010 New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week from 9-14 March.

The New Zealand International Arts Festival announced today the participation of 2009 Samuel Johnson Prize winner Philip Hoare, from the United Kingdom, The Time Traveler’s Wife author Audrey Niffenegger,pic right, from the United States, and noted British novelist Derek Johns. Pic left - Sarah Castleton.
They will be joined by award-winning New Zealand writers Charlotte Grimshaw and Jenny Pattrick.

In these challenging times, the desire for discussion and debate continues to grow, and demand for good books continues to increase. The 2010 New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week promises big issues, remarkable minds and great stories.

The week will kick off with a Gala Opening featuring Audrey Niffenegger, Neil Cross, Kamila Shamsie, Gil Adamson and Chloe Hooper in conversation with Kate De Goldi.

Writers Upfront, a festival within a festival, offers readers an opportunity to spend time with contemporary literature’s great writers and thinkers. The programme will see radical philosopher Peter Singer argue how we can live responsibly, Simon Schama in conversation about making history, James Belich discussing colonialism, Chloe Hooper on race relations in Australia, and Geoff Dyer will riff on jazz, photography, travel and D.H. Lawrence.

It isn’t just the nonfiction writers who are asking the big questions. The legacies of colonisation echo through the work of novelists Kamila Shamsie, Ilija Trojanow, and Joan London. In her novels, Susanna Moore’s characters negotiate sex, place, family and identity often with shocking results. Lisa Moore chronicles the story of a widow in the wake of a maritime disaster. Sarah Waters plays with genre, Daniel Kehlmann imagines a historical encounter, and Emily Perkins writes a disturbing portrait of a marriage. Margo Lanagan and Neil Gaiman challenge our ideas about children’s literature.

Poetry takes centre stage as the Festival welcomes Bill Manhire, Glyn Maxwell and Kevin Connolly – three very different poets, all at the forefront of contemporary literature.

The Town Hall Talks are a new series of events featuring three of literature’s superstars: controversial biologist Richard Dawkins, celebrated historian Simon Schama and literary rock star Neil Gaiman.

Readers can also enjoy an Afternoon Tea with Jenny Pattrick, extraordinary writer and winner of the 2009 New Zealand Post Mansfield Prize, who will be talking about her new book and her amazing career.

Free events
In an effort to make writing accessible to everyone Writers Upfront will host two free events. The first will be a poetry reading featuring New Zealand poets Ian Wedde, Kate Camp, and Geoff Cochrane who will be joined on stage by visiting poets Glyn Maxwell and Kevin Connolly. The second session will see fiction writers Fariba Hachtroudi, Charlotte Grimshaw, Joan London, Lisa Moore, and Anna Taylor reading from their work.

New Zealand’s only writing marathon Once Upon a Deadline returns on Monday 8 March when seven writers hit the streets of Wellington. The 2010 race has David Geary defending his title against challengers including Pip Hall, Eli Kent, Miria George, Dianna Fuemana, Neil Cross and Lucy O’Brien. Be prepared to encounter writing where you least expect it, and then join the writers at the Town Hall at 6.30pm for the Read-Off, where the writers will read their stories and the audience will help decide the winner. This event is free.

New Zealand Post has been a New Zealand International Arts Festival Partner since 1994. A Gold Partner for the past six Festivals, New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week has blossomed during this time and is a significant part of the New Zealand International Arts Festival programme. New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week is one way that New Zealand Post shares its commitment to enhancing literature and literacy in New Zealand.

Concession passes and tickets to all New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week events, including the Gala Opening, are available through Ticketek.
A concession pass entitles the holder to discounts and preferential booking for all Writers Upfront sessions.
Public booking for all New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week events is available from Tuesday 9 February, 2010.


Rachael King said...

I've looked through teh programme online (looks good!), and although Sarah Waters is advertised as appearing, I can't actually find any sessions with her in them. Anybody know?

Unknown said...

Oh no, not Bill Manhire again!!

Beattie's Book Blog said...

Laura Kroetsch from the Festival advises that Sarah Waters will be appearing in the Embassy Theatre on Wed 10 March at 9.30am. She will be in conversation with Lennie Goodings.