Looking forward to Tusiata Avia and Five NZ poets. The highlight of any festival for me is hearing poets do their thing.
What do you think about libraries?
Libraries are sacred places. Used to be, that is. Their de-commissioning and the absence of books from the shelves is a disaster. A row of screens a barren look. I know, I know, they are a portal in to other worlds. So are books. But with books we have tangible evidence of the magic contained within. What will catch the eye of the first-time visitor to the library in the future? A screen or a book? That is the wonderful thing about the libraries that I happen to cherish. You enter a special place, your eye falls on something new and exciting and away you go on an unexpected journey. I was taken to the Lower Hutt library at a very age, and when I crossed that threshold there was no doubt that I was entering sacred space. The kids books were down one end. After a happy hour I’d look for my mother in the biography section a mile away at the other end of the library. Along the way I would pass shelves of books that I knew were not for me just then but I knew would would be part of my future journeying.
Share a surprising fact about yourself.
A surprising fact about myself? Well, this may come as a surprise. It may even sound a touch immodest. But, I won the gold for the 1500 metres at the Tokyo Olympics. I was eight years old at the time, and so it was hard to get the word out and about.