Friday, March 31, 2017

Okay, Guys, Here’s Garrison Keillor Explaining How To Write Poetry For Your Beloved


“Men are wired for combat, to bash the enemy into submission, and it’s hard to wipe the blood and gore off your hands and sit down and write, ‘O wondrous thou, the wonderment of these my happiest days, I lift my pen to praise thy shining beauty’ and so forth. But you can do it. The first step is: Imitate.”

Latest news from The Bookseller

Libraries body CILIP has urged peers to intervene in the declining library service ahead of a debate in the House of Lords today on libraries and other arts services.
Hollie McNish
Writer, performance poet and YouTube star Hollie McNish has won 2016's £5,000 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.
Amazon Prime
Amazon US is offering authors $5,000 upfront in lieu of royalties to incorporate their books into its unlimited reading programme for Prime members.
Libby Purves
After 33 years on the air, broadcaster Libby Purves presented her last "Midweek" show on BBC Radio 4 yesterday.
Robyn Drury
Agent Robyn Drury is to join Ebury Press' non-fiction department as commissioning editor next month.
On the Origin of the Species
Puffin is to publish a picture book edition of Charles Darwin’s On The Origin of Species, retold by qualified molecular biologist Sabina Radeva, after the book raised more than £49,000 through a Kickstarter campaign.

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan will formally accept the Nobel Prize for Literature this weekend, following months of speculation over whether this would happen. 
Yale University Press
Julian Loose, who joined Yale University Press as editorial director for trade and academic books in July last year, has signed a book of “irresistibly brilliant” essays from Golden Hill author Francis Spufford.
Petrona Award
Six crime novels from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have been shortlisted for the 2017 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year. 
Fitzcarraldo Editions is to publish Moving Kings, a "propulsive, incendiary" novel about faith, race, class, and what it means to have a home, by American novelist Joshua Cohen.
Sometimes I Lie
Legendary Entertainment has acquired the TV rights to Alice Feeney's debut thriller Sometimes I Lie (HQ), in a six-figure deal.
The River Cafe
Ruth Rogers is writing a new River Cafe cookbook to celebrate 30 years since London-based Italian restaurant The River Cafe first opened in 1987, publishing with Ebury Press in October.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Auckland Writers Festival 16-21 May

16 - 21 May 2017


This year’s Festival features some of the world’s most sought-after novelists. We are honoured to host 2016 Man Booker Prize winner Paul Beatty, 2007 Man Booker Prize winner Anne Enright, Commonwealth Prize winner Catherine Chidgey, Campiello Award winner Viola di Grado, Stonewall Writer of the Year winner 2008 and 2010 Stella Duffy, Three time Ngaio Marsh Award winner Paul Cleave, National Book Award winner Denis Johnson, National Magazine Award winner in 1994, 1996, 2000 and 2004 George Saunders and August Prize winner Steve Sem-Sandberg.

You can catch them in panels and solo conversations across the Festival.
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear some globally lauded fiction greats.

Check out the full programme online
View the programme ebook




Rule of Law: a novel, and The Politics of Decency

Winton Higgins will be visiting Wellington from Sydney from 23 April to 30 April 2017 for a series of events around his recently published novel, Rule of Law (Brandl & Schlesinger, 2016). While in Wellington, he will also be speaking on ‘The Politics of Decency’ at St Andrew’s on The Terrace, giving a talk to the city’s secular Buddhist community, and running a daylong workshop.

On Wednesday 26 April, Winton will be in conversation with Sir Anand Satyanand about Rule of Law at Unity Books in Willis St from 12 noon to 12:45pm. Sir Anand Satyanand GNZM QSO KStJ is a former lawyer, judge and ombudsman. He was the 19th Governor-General of New Zealand and is Chair of the Commonwealth Foundation.

On Thursday 27 April, Winton will give a talk titled ‘The Politics of Decency’ at St Andrew’s on The Terrace. The event runs from 12:30pm to 2pm, and is a collaboration between St Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society and One Mindful Breath, Wellington’s secular Buddhist community.

In addition, Winton will give a talk to One Mindful Breath at 7:30pm on Wednesday 24 April at the Quaker Centre in Moncrieff St, Mt Victoria, and run an all-day secular Buddhist workshop on Saturday 29 April at the Home of Compassion in Island Bay.

About Rule of Law
In the midst of World War II, the Allies promised to punish prominent German perpetrators of atrocities at war’s end. When the war was at last ending, the Allies had to agree on how to honour this promise. Summary executions by firing squad beckoned as the expedient way to do this. But the US war secretary, Henry Stimson, dissented: he agitated for a public trial before an international tribunal, one following due process and conducted in four languages. He wanted this trial to found an international rule of law that would represent a giant leap forward by outlawing aggressive war and crimes against humanity.

Stimson prevailed. His victory unleashed an unprecedented human drama in the bomb-ravaged city of Nuremberg – a drama played out in the glare of international publicity, one involving thousands of participants, many of whom were as war-damaged as the city in which they had to play their parts. The novel follows four of these participants as they face the challenges of the pioneering trial, the daily struggles of life in a shattered city haunted by its immediate Nazi past, and the urgent demands of their private lives.

‘A fascinating novel that captures the drama of history’s most important trial, which laid the foundation for international criminal law. This gripping account uses fiction to bring to life the personalities, principles and philosophies that contributed to the delivery of justice at Nuremberg.’
– Geoffrey Robertson QC

‘This is a gripping story of one of the great moments in history. When the victorious Allies of the Second World War decided to put the tyrants of the Nazi regime on public trial for crimes against humanity, the symbolism was electric. The drama was overwhelming. The emotions wretched. And it had to be worked out in conditions of bombed out devastation and with no effective precedents. Across the pages walk historical characters, some of them familiar. But interwoven with their lives are human tales of great power, added by the author to remind us that this was a raw human drama. Once started, I could not put this book down.’
– Hon Michael Kirby, past justice of the High Court of Australia and chair of the UN commission of inquiry on North Korea  


Biographical note
Winton Higgins was born in Sydney in November 1941. After surviving the Japanese midget submarine attack on Sydney Harbour of 31 May 1942, he grew up on a sheep and cattle station in central Australia, 55km outside Walgett, NSW, in Tennant Creek, and back in Sydney. He graduated in arts and law from Sydney University and practised at the Bar for three years until 1969 when he moved to Europe, where he gained postgraduate qualifications in social science at the universities of Stockholm and London (LSE).

He did research and taught in Adelaide 1972–5, before his appointment as a lecturer in politics at Macquarie University, Sydney. He left this institution in 2000 as an associate professor. Since then he has been an associate in international studies at the University of Technology Sydney, while also engaging in creative writing. Winton won the NSW Writers’ Centre’s short short story competition in 2002.

Winton has cultivated a wide range of interests in his intellectual life, and three of them have come to dominate: social-democratic theory and practice, especially under the aegis of the Swedish experience 1928–76; genocide studies, with special reference to the Holocaust; and standardisation. He has been a board member of the Australian Institute of Holocaust and Genocide Studies since its inception in 2000. Winton also teaches an annual course at the Aquinas Academy on various ethical, social and political topics.

Since 1987, Winton has been a Buddhist practitioner, and a teacher of insight meditation since 1995. He has contributed to the development of a secular Buddhism internationally and is a senior teacher for Sydney Insight Meditators and Secular Buddhism in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Winton’s meditation teaching has developed towards non-formulaic insight practice based on the Buddha’s original teachings, while his dharmic orientation inclines towards a secular Buddhism. He fosters interest in the original teachings and their affinity with modern streams of thought and progressive social commitments. He and his partner Lena live in Sydney and have 2 daughters and 2 grandchildren. His website is at, and much of his dharma writing can be found at
In conversation with Sir Anand Satyanand

Talk to One Mindful Breath

Talk at St Andrew’s on The Terrace

One day secular Buddhist workshop

Winton Higgins’ personal website


Brushstrokes of Memory Launch

An appreciative crowd turned up at Takapuna Library last night for the book launch of Brushstrokes of Memory by Karen McMillan.
Media personality and author Karyn Hay introduced Karen to the gathered audience, and then librarian Helen Woodhouse and Karen McMillan engaged in a lively Q&A session. Both authors signed books and enjoyed  conversations with readers .”

Helen Woodhouse starts proceedings.
Karyn Hay and Karen McMillan


The Roundup with PW

Pearson Settles Textbook Royalty Case
Two authors had claimed Pearson was shortchanging them on royalties, and had sought class action status, asserting that that their fellow Pearson authors were also likely owed millions of dollars more.
more »

Muslim Publishers Look to Build Bridges, Counter Cultural Misunderstanding
Books on Islam from small Muslim publishing houses make up a rich but challenging niche market and can serve as a bridge between cultures.
more »


'Children of Blood and Bone' Scores Big: Macmillan and Fox 2000 land an African-flavored fantasy—the first in a planned trilogy by a 23-year-old debut novelist—for seven figures.

Best Translated Book Award Longlists: Celebrating its tenth iteration, the BTBAs announced its longlists for translated fiction and poetry this morning.

Claudia Rankine Wins Bobbitt Prize: Rankine has won the 2016 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry for her acclaimed book 'Citizen: An American Lyric.'

Jeff Buckley's Journals: The handwritten journals of the singer-songwriter, who died tragically in 1997 at age 30, will be reproduced in a forthcoming book from Da Capo Press.

A Long Lost Library Book: A man returned a library book after 35 years with an apology, donation, and explanation: He says he has read it at least 25 times.

Master in Creative Writing Readings featuring Albert Wendt

Wednesday 5 April 2017
Four Seasons, corner Wellesley St and Mayoral Drive, WH Building
AUT City Campus

The second Masters of Creative Writing (MCW) Readings features students and alumni of AUT's Centre for Creative Writing masters programme. Siobhan Harvey and Michael Giacon will MC, and readers represent the classes of 2015 and 2016. The range of genres includes memoir, poetry, fiction, graphic novel, YA, fantasy, noir and more. 

Albert WendtGuest Reader: 

Maualaivao Albert Wendt is considered internationally as one of Aotearoa’s and the Pacific’s major novelists and poets. His latest books are: From Manoa to a Ponsonby Garden (poetry), Ancestry (short stories), and Breaking Connections (novel). He is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Auckland, and lives with his partner, Reina Whaitiri, and their cat Manoa, in Ponsonby, Auckland.



Alexandra Balm
Megan Welch
Belinda Acyrigg
Alexandra Fraser
Maxi Quy
Maris O'Rourke
Lincoln Jaques
Dee O'Hagan
Siobhan Harvey

There will be a cash bar, and the readings will begin at 5.30pm. This is a free event, please RSVP to Farina Ibnul -