Writers


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!

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

Donovan Bixley – illustrator and writer

Cover of The bright side of my conditionWhat (or who) are you most looking forward to at WORD Christchurch?

So much to look forward to. I’m a big fan of Charlotte Randall. I love historical fiction and the excitement of whaling and naval history – especially the period of the turn of the 19th century – so obviously I felt that The Bright Side of My Condition was written for me. I’m also an old fan of Kristin Hersh and I’m looking forward to her visit to NZ. It will be great to catch up with Melinda Szymanik as we are working on a book together and I’m also looking forward to finally meeting Dylan Horrocks.

What do you think about libraries?

I love just browsing the shelves and discovering new books (new to me that is). There’s never any pressure, if you don’t like it you can return it, and if you do like a book you can go back and get it again and again. Often you can find darling old books that you can’t get in the shops, and as a devoted book lover, I love that a lot of library books are original hardcover versions.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

At school I used to draw cars and trucks to keep the school bullies on side. Nowadays I love to draw all sorts of things – except (for some strange reason) cars and trucks.

Cover of Monkey Boy Cover of The Three bears Cover of Dinosaur rescue

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

Nic Low – author and artist

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

I grew up in Christchurch in the 80s. I have great memories of my parents taking us to Peace Group in a church hall. We’d paint anti-nuclear banners and learn protest songs (accompanied, badly, on a ukulele) and have a damn good time. So what I’m most looking forward to is the People Power session with Nicky Hager and Maire Leadbeater, talking about the history of New Zealand’s nuclear free movement. I live in Australia and travel overseas a fair bit, and I often talk about our nuclear-free status as an example of Why New Zealand Is Awesome. It’s one of the things I’m most proud of about being a kiwi. It’s also one of the reasons why my stories in Arms Race are about mischievous political shenanigans.

What do you think about libraries?

I’m obsessed! As a kid I probably borrowed and read 75% of the books in the kids and YA sections of the Christchurch Public Library. I lived in libraries while doing both undergrad and postgrad. The 11th floor of the UC library is my favourite: having a view of mountains while being surrounded by books remains a lifelong goal. In Melbourne I do my daily writing beneath the State Library of Victoria’s magnificent vaulted dome. And in 2012-2013 I created my own library – hundreds of books packed into six hand-made travelling cases that transform into book cases – and toured them 2000km across India by train. That project was a roving writers festival called The Bookwallah, and you can learn more about it during the opening Pecha Kucha night.

Cover of Arms RaceShare a surprising fact about yourself.

A lot of my ideas for short stories seem to come from … tramping trips. There’s something about being in the mountains, often with my brother Tim, that gets the imagination going.The closing story in Arms Race, ‘The Culler’, came from a mid-winter trip into the Lewis Pass back country. There’d been heavy snow – the Lewis Pass road was snowed in for two weeks – and the beech forest had been shattered. The tracks were impassable with fallen limbs. We spent five or six days wading in the rivers instead, and along the way we stayed in a tiny hand-hewn shelter called Slaty Creek Hut.

The ground outside was a boneyard of deer jaws and teeth. Sitting by the fire, my brother and I got talking about the cullers and hunters who escaped society to live and work from huts like this after WWII. We chatted about the mountain radio service, and imagined what it’d be like living in total frozen isolation, and getting news reports about major world events. What would it be like spending your days hunting among the moonscapes of the Alps, then getting word that the Americans had put a man on the moon? What if you actually met a party of Americans in those mountains, carrying a flag and a movie camera … ?

Now I know how much tramping seems to fire my imagination, my second book is all about the mountains. It’s an imaginative history of the Southern Alps, told through eight crossings of the mountains on foot. It’s called Eight Passes and it’s out with Text in 2016.

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

Rosetta Allan – poet and novelist

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

 Oh there are too many to list, but I’ll give it a try:

and that’s just a handful of the artists I want to see.
I am going to be a busy, and very happy festival attendee.

What do you think about libraries?

I walk in and out of my local Mt Albert library at least twice a week.

Every time I notice a few things:

  1. The happy staff – and wish I could have their job.
  2. The high occupancy of most available seats, by a multi cultured and age varied populace busy reading or tapping on keyboards.
  3. That lovely shelf that has a selection of books waiting just for me, and the person next in alphabetical line to mine, who must be retired because she reads a LOT of books.
  4. How lucky I feel to be able to access so many amazing books and documentaries from such a happy place, all ordered online and delivered to my neighbourhood, and it’s all free!

Yes, I am particularly fond of libraries, for completely selfish reasons.

Cover of PurgatoryShare a surprising fact about yourself.

I have a rose tattoo.

My husband asked me to marry him two weeks after we met.

I said yes and he had a rose tattooed on his deltoid.

25 years later I had the same, but smaller, rose tattooed on my wrist.

It was my way of saying yes to the next 25 years together.

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

Cover of The Wandering MindKen Strongman – Emeritus Professor

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

I am most looking forward to the fact that the festival is occurring.

What do you think about libraries?

Libraries are an essential part of our society.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

18 months ago I began what is proving to be a successful column in The Press. It is entitled Over the Hill and appears on alternate Thursdays.

Next Page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 784 other followers