Margaret Mahy, superheroes, theremin, and Hicksville: WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival

WORD Christchurch kicks off tomorrow Wednesday 27 August with the Rising Voices Youth Poetry Regional Slam and Shigeru Ban: Cardboard Cathedral. Here are some Festival picks that show off the range of what’s on – get  your tickets now:

For Margaret Mahy fans

Elizabeth KnoxStart your Sunday with a trip, of the imaginary sort. The inaugural Margaret Mahy Memorial Lecture is a  celebration of our Cantabrian Queen of the imagination, and this lecture is set to become a Festival staple.

The first lecture ‘An Unreal House Filled with Real Storms’ is appropriately by the brilliant Elizabeth Knox and is introduced by children’s author and literary activist Kate de Goldi.

If you are a Mahy fan, there is also a look back at The Changeover, 30 years on.

What’s happening in Māori literature?

Te Karanga Me Te Wero: Contemporary Māori Writing in Aotearoa brings together writers Hinemoana Baker, Tina Makereti, and Huia publisher Brian Morris, in conversation with Paul Diamond. They will tackle this topic by exploring what we mean when we talk about Māori writing, who is doing it and the challenges faced by Māori writers.

For comic lovers

If you are fan of comics and graphic novels, here are a couple of sessions to warm your cockles.

Capes and tightsCapes & Tights: Superhero Comics

If you are a fan of comics and graphic novels, get along to this session on Sunday, 31 August 4pm at The Physics Room – philosopher Damon Young; film-maker and cartoonist Jonathan King; Young Adult author Karen Healey join local comics hero (and former Batgirl writer) Dylan Horrocks for a free-ranging panel discussion looking at Hollywood, sexism, ideology, and more.

Journey to Hicksville

I reckon the graphic novel Hicksville is up there in the pantheon of New Zealand books. In this session, Dylan Horrocks talks with  film-maker and cartoonist Jonathan King about his latest books Incomplete Works, and the forthcoming Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen (check it out online)

Woah! Theremin!

Cover of The life and loves of Lena GauntI am going to get to this on Sunday morning. A rare chance to hear that wonderful and weird instrument the theremin in action.

Tracy Farr’s novel The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt, tells the story of a theremin player Lena. Radio New Zealand’s Lynn Freeman chairs the session, and John Chrisstoffels gives a theremin demo, and tells a bit more about it.

John is also in the intriguing new band Les Baxters (word from another band member is “the band is tres literary cos there are 2 librarians in it…”

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