A special treat from Karlo Mila

Karlo Mila breezed into the Limelight Lounge this morning. She was setting up for the launch of her new book, A well written body, which is a collaboration with painter Delicia Sampero.

The latest work was a collaboration that pushed her creatively and emotionally, she said, and the result is a credit to them both and Huia Publishers.

Time doesn’t allow me to go into full detail, but Karlo kindly agreed to read a poem from the collection, called Inside us the Dead. A more expansive interview will be posted on the library website in the near future.

In the meantime. listen to this: (1.4Mb mono file)

Is Auckland an octopus?

My instructions were clear: figure out what Aucklandness was all about. No easy task
That’s no easy task. I did consider wearing a Crusaders jersey, or painting my face black and red, or interjecting with a raucous Caaaanterbury… But no…

Auckland is an interesting city, vibrant and always plenty going on. There was a good crowd eager to hear about their city and literature. The city was a common link between the authors… chair Paula Green waxed lyrical about the melange of cities, landscapes, remembered and invented Auckland.

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Books into movies

I went to a session today in which three writers who have done screenplays talked about their craft and the differences between book and film. Annie Goldson, the Kiwi documentary filmmaker, chaired the session.

And for the people that want to know about shoes (and I don’t know why I am doing this but there seems to be a market out there): Luke Davies had trainers, Philippe Claudel had boots and Derek Hansen had sensible shoes.

Enough of this trivia: they were each asked whether they wrote their  novels with a film in mind. Philippe Claudel – who apologised for his English – had not written his novel “Grey souls” with any thought of a film in mind and when director Yves Angelo approached him he was reluctant. He was eventually persuaded and worked on the screenplay which he described as a different enterprise indeed.

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Festival fashion

When it comes to festival fashion, forget our obsession with Noelle’s shoes and Kim Hill’s slink, the humble t-shirt is where it’s at (wearing our Christchurch City Libraries ones has got us into lots of conversations).

Every year they come out with wicked posters and branding for the Festival and this year we see Junot Diaz’s “The Brief and wondrous life of Oscar Wao” gracing the tshirts modelled here by wonderful Festival volunteers. Tres cool, tres chic, and we love Junot Diaz.

For those of you with sharp eyes, the black tshirt at back is from the festival a couple of years ago and features the famous quote from Ronald Hugh Morrieson’s “The Scarecrow”:
‘The same week our fowls were stolen, Daphne Moran had her throat cut.’

Addicted to the dark – The light side of the dark side

CandyThis session attracted a bit of a younger audience, not surprising I guess since it delved into drug lit. Stephanie Johnson was the chair introducing us to “moral corrupters” Aussie author Luke Davies (famous for his novel Candy and he’s just released God of speed about Howard Hughes) and Heather O’Neill, a Canadian author Philip talked about earlier. NZ author and movie maker Duncan Sarkies was stuck at Wellington Airport due to Auckland fog.

As is usual with these session, we got a reading by the authors. Luke did a nice piece where Howard Hughes recalls the delectable naughty blonde Jean Harlow. Either Luke’s books are all really sexy, or he likes to choose the sexy bits to read out. At the session “History and the novel” he got hot and heavy about ginger goddess Katherine Hepburn and her “Pink-osity”.

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Opening night

Here we are to relate all the thrills and spills of the opening night of the Auckland Writer and Readers Festival

Joyce: Kim Hill sashayed in looking leggy and dangerous, killer heels and swivel hips. Witi was resplendent in velvet and Junot, well he was the epitome of the literary rock star, effortlessly cool, mmmmm… I feel a little breathless. Over to you Philip, dish the dirt baby!!

Philip:  All I can say is that Kim looked like a predatory femme fatale she slunk across the stage in way that Sharon Stone might do. Continue reading

Innocence and Experience

This was a session where three writers were brought together to dicuss their novels under a theme supposedly common to all. The idea was that all three novels dealt with love in some form, whether it was parental love, erotic love, love of one’s country, etc. In the chair was Kate De Goldi who is familiar to Christchurch people. On a distinctly trivial and irrelevant note, I was racking my tired brain for who she reminded me of and then it came to me: the one and only Parklands Librarian, Annie McEntyre!

Now to get on with it before someone says get on with it.

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More librarians on the loose…

For an alternative public library perspective on the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival, check out the Palmerston North City Library blog. Like us, they have a team at the festival and are feeding back some great commentary. They also have a Festival webpage.

Good to see another NZ public library pushing the boundaries of taking the world and their world to their customers online. Another example of what Paul Reynolds describes as “library best practice” in his blog this week? What do you think?

It’s the end of the world as we know it …

Loretta NapoleoniBut Loretta Napoleoni feels fine. Sort of. The author of Rogue economics spoke with Mark Sainsbury about the grey areas of the global economy, rogue entrepreneurs, prostitution, slavery, piracy and the political void created by the fall of the Berlin Wall.

You’d think this heavy stuff would be a burden, but Napoleoni is a optimist and a possesser of strong and well argued opinions (she was recently in the media for paying out Bono).

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Listen to our Daily Festival Wrap – Thursday

Hear the team wrap up day 2 of the festival – “spine-shivering” Sarah Hall, “impish” and “awe-inspiring” Witi Ihimaera, the decline of western civilisation, and, just to ensure we offer something for everyone, “slinky” Kim Hill’s VPL. It’s all there for the listening in Thursday’s Daily Festival Wrap audio. Duration 8 mins 10 secs. Listen on our Festival page, or right here.