Look, Listen & Learn
HISTORY OR GOSSIP? THE UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND FREE PUBLIC LECTURE: C.K. STEAD
More than ever these days, writers’ festivals and literary interviews encourage readers to interest themselves in the lives and thought processes of the novelists and poets whose work they read. Recently, for example, the first volume of a biography of Maurice Shadbolt had been published (Life as a Novel: A Biography of Maurice Shadbolt: Volume One 1932-1973). Most of the information contained within could be considered gossip, but at what point does gossip become literary history?
Karl Stead doesn’t have a definitive answer, but he likes the question.
Dear Jim: Literally Lorne
From the grand lobby of the prestigious old St James Theatre, eight writers responded to the recently published and sometimes shocking letters of the legendary James K Baxter, each had chosen one of Baxter’s letters to be read aloud by actor Bruce Hopkins before they responded with Dear Jim...” replies, live and direct from the 21st century. Featuring Emma Espiner, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, Kirsty Gunn, Nathan Joe, Ian Wedde and Annabel Wilson.
Auckland War Memorial Museum and Auckland Writers Festival: Writing the Suffrage Past
Alice Canton, Tusiata Avia, Linda Olsson and Emma Espiner were commissioned to create new work inspired by the Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Are We There Yet? exhibition which explores 125 years of Suffrage. The four writers researched items relating to that exhibition in the Museum’s Documentary Heritage Collection and used what they found to inspire new works of writing which were presented live at a free event at Auckland Writers Festival 2018. You can visit the Documentary Heritage Collection at the Museum and also online.
FICTION AND FACTIONS - THE UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND FREE PUBLIC LECTURE: FIONA FARRELL
Fiona Farrell’s most recent novel, Decline and Fall on Savage Street, is often referred to as ‘a political novel’. Twin to her highly regarded nonfiction work, The Villa at the Edge of the Empire, the books form a wide-ranging analysis of the response to the Christchurch earthquakes. In this lecture, Farrell considers in general terms the ‘political novel’. What makes a work of fiction ‘political’? Where does imagination stop and journalism begin? What are the special challenges faced by writers creating fiction with a contemporary political element?
Walk on High: Eight Thirty
This year we asked 12 writers to take a photo at either 8.30am or 8.30pm and then compose a piece of writing to accompany the image, drawing inspiration from Teju Cole's words: “.. what is then interesting is to find, in that continuity, the less-obvious: the signs, the markings, the assemblages, the things hiding in plain sight in each cityscape”.
The images + essays were presented at Eight Thirty cafe in High Street as part of the Walk on High event on Friday 19 May 2017. Each image was published on the festival's Insta account with an extract from the writing along with it.
Here we have collected up the full versions of each author's 8.30 inspiration and published them together. Enjoy!
Auckland War Memorial Museum and Auckland Writers Festival Collaboration Project
Auckland Writers Festival and Auckland War Memorial Museum Documentary Heritage Collection Commissions 2017
The following five writers were commissioned to create new work inspired by items in the Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Documentary Heritage Collection. They presented their work at a free live event at Auckland Writers Festival 2017. You can visit the Documentary Heritage Collection at the Museum and also online.
Hera Lindsay Bird
Kelly Ana Morey
Ngahuia Te Awekotuku
Their final pieces of collected writing are gathered here so you can read and enjoy them. With thanks to the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
POUTOKOMANAWA – THE HEARTPOST - THE UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND FREE PUBLIC LECTURE: TINA MAKERETI
Maori and Pasifika writers cross borders with a vibrant aesthetic that exists nowhere else on the planet. Yet they are under-represented in literature—research suggests that Maori and Pasifika poetry and fiction accounts for only 3% of all locally published literature. Other ethnic groups fare worse. In this lecture novelist, essayist and creative writing teacher Tina Makereti assesses the state of affairs and presents her vision of a vibrant Maori/Pasifika/ Indigenous/NZ literature: What kind of house does our literature inhabit? Where are radical renovations needed?
MICHAEL KING MEMORIAL LECTURE: A NEW POLITICS FOR NEW ZEALAND, MAX HARRIS
New Zealander Max Harris is on the ascendant: a Rhodes Scholar who, while studying public policy and law at Oxford University earned an All Souls Fellowship and returns home for the Festival to advocate a new politics. In his recently published book The New Zealand Project, he argues that academics and intellectuals have failed to deepen the political discourse, that politics is dominated by pragmatism, and that technocratic policies have replaced value-based ones. In this year’s Michael King Memorial Lecture, Harris calls for a strategic intervention – inspired by the tenets of care, community and creativity in an Aotearoa New Zealand context, and driven by the imagination and impatience of the young to create a better country.
12 Photography Favourites: Teju Cole
The New York Times photography critic and award-winning novelist and essayist Teju Cole takes the audience on a virtual tour of the work of twelve of his current favourite photographers.
Great Reads 2016
Two Festival guests share some of their favourite writing past, present and future to shape your book-reading plans for the year. In the hot seats this time around are Edinburgh Book Festival director Nick Barley and Booker Prize winning novelist Eleanor Catton.