Authors


WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival kicks off on 27 August. We’ve asked three quick questions of festival guests:

Finlay Macdonald

What (or who) are you most looking forward to at WORD Christchurch?

Catching up with my mate Steve Braunias. Even though we live in the same city, we don’t see enough of each other.

What do you think about libraries?

 Salt of the earth, backbone of the nation … as long as there are libraries there is hope.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

 I’m exactly the same age as John Key and Barack Obama (within months anyway).

WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival kicks off on 27 August. We’ve asked three quick questions of festival guests:

Murdoch Stephens – editor-in-chief of Lawrence & Gibson

Cover of Peace, Power, and politicsWhat (or who) are you most looking forward to at WORD Christchurch?

There are so many amazing speakers lined up. I’m most excisted about NZ non-fiction such as Marie Leadbeater in conversation with Nicky Hager and Barnaby Bennett’s chaired session of Free Range Press authors. That said, I’m looking forward to a last hurrah with outgoing NZ Listener Books and Culture editor Guy Somerset who is chairing our panel discussion and is on the ‘Reading Favourites’ panel. He’s been a big supporter of Lawrence & Gibson since his first review of Richard Meros’ On the conditions and possibilities of Helen Clark taking me as her Young Lover.

What do you think about libraries?

Libraries are an incredible oddity in that they exist as an institution for the idealistic and common good. The library is a rare common fund where money is no object as long as people are willing to share. This leads me to want to accept Jorges Luis Borges’ statement that he always imagined Paradise to be some kind of library.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

Fact! My first name comes from my maternal grandmother. Surprise! My parents’ accountants won the right to choose that name after winning a round of poker.

WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival kicks off on 27 August. We’ve asked three quick questions of festival guests:

Thomasin Sleigh – writer

Cover of We need new namesWhat (or who) are you most looking forward to at WORD Christchurch?

I’m really looking forward to hearing NoViolet Bulawayo talk about her book We Need New Names, not only because it is a fantastic book, but also because my family is from Zimbabwe (and many are still there), so I’m very interested to hear her perspective on the political situation there and how she approached translating this into literature.

What do you think about libraries?

Well, I work at the National Library of New Zealand and am the daughter of a librarian, so you could say I’m pretty pro-library! Free and easy public access to information through libraries is essential for an informed, empowered, critical, and active citizenry.

Cover of Ad LibShare a surprising fact about yourself.

I have a strange distaste for melted or too-soft ice cream, especially when it is made into a kind of ice creamy soup/gloop in a bowl. Goody goody gumdrops is the worst. Arg! Take from this what you will.

WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival kicks off on 27 August. We’ve asked three quick questions of festival guests:

Cover of Cardboard CathedralWhat (or who) are you most looking forward to at WORD Christchurch?

Unfortunately I’m an out-of-towner, and so am only able to be in Christchurch for my WORD session with Shigeru Ban and the launch of my book, Shigeru Ban: Cardboard Cathedral.

However, I’ll catch renowned architectural critic Reed Kroloff as he passes through Auckland. I’d love to be able to attend the Rebuilding Christchurch session with the Freerange Press folk. Barnaby Bennett and his team are making a fantastic contribution not just to the thinking behind Christchurch’s reconstruction, but to New Zealand’s architecture culture.

What do you think about libraries?

I teach at a university – the University of Auckland – so in a library almost everyday. I love the atmosphere of libraries. They emit a strong sense of accumulated intellectual energy, and it’s great to be in the company of the humming minds tapping into it. For me, it’s like being in the generator room of a power station.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

I’m married to an Anglican priest. As a frequent writer on both Japanese architecture and New Zealand architecture, and having a strong church background, writing a book about the Cardboard Cathedral was the perfect assignment for me!

WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival kicks off on 27 August. We’ve asked three quick questions of festival guests:

Lianne Dalziel – Mayor of Christchurch

What (or who) are you most looking forward to at WORD Christchurch?

I’m really looking forward to winning the Great New Zealand Crime debate on 30 August!  I’m part of an amazing team, featuring Steve Braunias and Martin van Beynen.  The other team obviously won’t know what it is talking about when faced with our brilliant team!  The MC is the very clever and witty Joe Bennett, which will also be a highlight

What do you think about libraries?

A library is one of those core critical community assets, which not only connects us with the world of literature and information, but is also a place where people connect.  It is often the first place where new migrants go when they are looking to settle in to a new community.  Of course, there is also the free Wi-Fi on offer!

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

I believe my success in life was built on a foundation of a love of reading.  As a child, Mum would come in to my bedroom at night to turn off my light and once she left, I would switch on my torch and read under the blankets! I literally consumed books as a child, and I still do so when I get the chance.

WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival kicks off on 27 August. We’ve asked three quick questions of festival guests:

Doc Drumheller

Cover of The life and loves of Lena GauntWhat (or who) are you most looking forward to at WORD Christchurch?

I am involved in several shows that I am looking forward to: Survivor Poetry, The Catalyst Road Show, and Poetry for Lunch. I am very excited by the amount of poetry in this festival and a highlight for me will be: Anis Mojgani, a two time US slam champion. There are many other events like the Rising Voices poetry slam, and the Sunday Fringe that I look forward to as well. This festival has so many interesting events that will appeal to many people with different tastes and interests, from food writing, to comic books, and many free events for young people.

What do you think about libraries?

I love libraries and librarians, and spend a most of time in libraries either running poetry workshops or researching for writing projects. I have recently been involved in the free workshops for young writers, organised by All Right?, and the School for Young Writers. I worked with writers in the South Library, the Upper Riccarton Library, and the Aranui Library, to produce work for a chapbook to be launched in the festival. Each of these libraries are very modern and have great facilities for learning opportunities.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

I am a very keen gardener, and enjoy pickling, and preserving food. One of my hobbies is self sufficiency.

WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival kicks off on 27 August. We’ve asked three quick questions of festival guests:

Brannavan Gnanalingam – writer

What (or who) are you most looking forward to at WORD Christchurch?

I’m most looking forward to seeing a bit of Christchurch. It’s a city I’m sorry to say, I haven’t spent much time in, but many of my favourite Kiwi musicians, writers, and artists have come from it. That and being able to see all of the writers.

What do you think about libraries?

My life would have been completely different if it wasn’t for my local library. I pillaged (though always returned my books on time) the Hutt City Library growing up. Mum would take me whenever I asked (which was usually weekly) and would wait patiently while I took my time. I wouldn’t be such a voracious reader, and therefore a writer, without the existence of libraries (and Mum’s patience). Libraries are crucial in modern societies, in ensuring literature doesn’t become, once again, the sole domain of those who can afford it.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

The first thing I ever published was an acrostic poem about Richard Hadlee at the age of six in one of the Sunday newspapers. I assigned an adjective to each letter making up Hadlee’s name. In hindsight, it was probably an elegy as he had just retired. I suppose it’s a start?

WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival kicks off on 27 August. We’ve asked three quick questions of festival guests:

Tania Roxborogh – writer

Cover of BirthrightWhat (or who) are you most looking forward to at WORD Christchurch?

 Fan-girling some of my favourite writers and getting to discuss my writing ups and downs with other writers in my genre.

What do you think about libraries?

They are my resting place. I have turned my daughter’s old bedroom into a library and I love spending time in it, looking around at all my books – MY books – one’s that I’ve read and I remember what I was doing, thinking, being, feeling when I read that particular book. I also love going to the Otago Uni library because it’s a place of action too – as it is for many school libraries. Libraries are my safe place.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

I have my motorbike license. I rode a motorbike during my second and third year at uni. I still have my awesome helmet (but not the bike)

WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival kicks off on 27 August. We’ve asked three quick questions of festival guests:

Wallace Chapman – tv and radio host, and writer

Cover of The InterestingsWhat (or who) are you most looking forward to at WORD Christchurch?

Meg Wolitzer, because I read her book The Interestings, and it was fabulous. What happens when your teen group of friends grow up together and form relationships.

What do you think about libraries?

Possibly one of the greatest gifts to Civic Life were Libraries. For a 1 year stretch when doing my own book, my Library card got a bigger workout than my EFTPOS card. They’re essential and ever changing.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

I can put a needle into myself ( long story, but I can self infuse )

WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival kicks off on 27 August. We’ve asked three quick questions of festival guests:

Dr Davinia Caddy – senior lecturer at the School of Music, University of Auckland

Cover of Peace, power, and politicsWhat (or who) are you most looking forward to at WORD Christchurch?

 Maire Leadbeater.

What do you think about libraries?

 The concrete ones, I presume? One of the Wonders of the World (the 8th?), soon (sadly, at least to me) to be ancient in the digital age

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

Avid fan of Stoke City Football Club – The Mighty Potters!

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