It’s all about the writers

There is lots to look forward to in the The Press Christchurch Writers Festival and if you haven’t already booked some sessions I’d recommend you pop into one of our libraries and grab a programme. For me it’s a wonderful chance to listen to  a really standout bunch of local and international writers. I like that its based in a good central location – the GeoDome in Hagley Park, YMCA in Hereford Street and The George on Peterborough Street. Easy to walk from one venue to another.

Hearing  Joanne Drayton, Kate Grenville and John Lanchester will be highlights for me. The Ngaio Marsh award night with a debate  featuring lawyers and crime writers  sounds like fun. I haven’t been to a debate in years. Lawyers always fancy themselves in debates but I’d like to see the crime writers give them a run for their money.

Writers festivals give you a chance to challenge yourself – hearing a writer whose work you don’t know or trying a different kind of event.  This year’s festival has a film, some interesting exhibitions, youth events, drama and poetry and writer readings.

My challenge this time is to hear Chris Turney, a British geologist who particular interest is in past and future climates, how people have responded to change and recent human evolution and migration. He also features in a session on Antarctica with Veronika Meduna and Rebecca Priestly.

I’ve already seen the Anne Perry; interiors documentary and I’d recommend it as an interesting counterpoint to An hour with Joanne Drayton.

Finally I’m looking forward to two outings to interesting exhibitions. Pressed letters at Peterborough Library features some of the best examples of letterpress printing produced in New Zealand in recent times. This trip can be combined with a good look at the artwork on the exterior of the library and a visit to the coffee cart which is just across the road.

The other exhibition Biblia abiblia; books that are not books is a display of non-traditional techniques of bookmaking, creating altered books from volumes no longer in use at the CPIT library. Alongside the invited artists are student works from the Bachelor of Design course at CPIT and works from private collections and the CPIT Artwork Collection. You can combine this with an exploration of this interesting part of town – the Ng Gallery and some good cafes.