Your own personal Christchurch – we pick things to do and see for WORD Christchurch writers

Our team of WORDy librarians have handpicked some places and experiences for WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival guests.

Caitlin Doughty

I reckon mortician Caitlin might like to see that slightly creepy mourning jewellery made of hair at the Canterbury Museum.

Hair jewellery at Canterbury Museum

Caitlin Doughty appears in:
PechaKucha Night, Thurs 25 Aug, 8.20pm
The Stars Are On Fire, Fri 26 Aug, 7.30pm
Embracing Death, Sat 27 Aug, 9.30am
Ask a Mortician: Caitlin Doughty, Sun 28 Aug, 2pm
The Nerd Degree, Sun 28 Aug, 5pm

Debbie Stoller

Anne recommends the Outlaw Yarn and their Saloon for Debbie Stoller. Outlaw yarn in NZ made in one of the last remaining spinning mills in New Zealand. The centre of operations is right here in Beckenham, Christchurch. There’s also a wonderful whalebone wool swift in the Canterbury Museum.

Debbie Stoller appears in:
Busted: Feminism & Pop Culture, Sat 27 Aug, 11am
The Sunday Fringe – How to Start a Magazine, Sun 28 Aug, 10am

Steve Hely

Moata thinks Steve might like the Casa Publica South American themed bar in New Regent Street.

Steve Hely appears in:
The Stars Are on Fire, Fri 26 Aug, 7.30pm
How to be a Writer: Steve Hely, Sat 27 Aug, 3.30pm
The Great NZ Crime Debate, Sat 27 Aug, 7.30pm
The State of America, Sun 28 Aug, 12.30pm

Steve Braunias

For the criminally inclined guests like Steve, Moata recommend a visit  to Victoria Park (scene of Honora Parker’s demise). See our pages on the Parker-Hulme murder.

Given his taste for quirky New Zealand experiences, I’d recommend a sway past Baz’s charity barn on the corner of Ferry Road.

Steve Braunias appears in:
True Crime, Fri 26 Aug, 3.30pm
Spinoff After Dark, Sat 27 Aug, 10pm

Toby Morris

Christchurch street art might be worth a look, reckons Moata. (Have a browse of our street art pics).

Street art on Millennium in Cathedral Square

Toby Morris appears in:
Where Do You Get Your Ideas From?, Sat 27 Aug, 12.30pm
Sunday Fringe – Writing to Make a Change, Sun 28 Aug, 11.30am
Giving Them Hell: Political Cartoons, Sun 28 Aug, 2pm

Tim Flannery

Something for the science-inclined guest: Moata points out that Tim will be here in time to visit Rutherford’s Den (it’s open again from 27 August).

Tim Flannery appears in:
2050, Fri 26 Aug, 5.30pm
Atmosphere of Hope: Tim Flannery, Sat 27 Aug, 2pm

Alok Jha

Alok might like to take a look at the water feature at Margaret Mahy playground. And that river that wends it way around the city – the Ōtākaro – Avon River.

Alok and other guests interested in the Antarctic would like the Antarctic section of Canterbury Museum and the International Antarctic Centre.

Antarctic vehicle

Alok Jha appears in:
Inspiring Writers – Secondary Schools Day, Thurs 25 Aug, 11.30am
PechaKucha Night, Thurs 25 Aug, 8.20pm
Water: Alok Jha, Sat 27 Aug, 11am
Tales from the Ice, Sun 28 Aug, 3.30pm
The Nerd Degree, Sun 28 Aug, 5pm

Tara Moss

Moata reckons Tara would like to visit the Kate Sheppard memorial.

Kate Sheppard memorial
Friday 19 September 2014. Flickr 2014-09-19-IMG_2212

I am picking Madame Butterflys and Etcetera for Tara and other Festival vintage clothes-lovers.

Tara Moss appears in:
Inspiring Writers – Secondary Schools Day, Thurs 25 Aug, 9.45am
Speaking Out: Tara Moss, Sat 27 Aug, 12.30pm

Roger Shepherd

Fiona would match Roger Shepherd with bar and music venue darkroom. Or indeed Blue Smoke, where Roger’s special event will be held. He’d probably be up for a fossick at Galaxy Records or Penny Lane too I reckon.

Roger Shepherd appears in:
In Love With These Times: A Flying Nun Celebration, Sat 27 Aug, 7.30pm

Bill Manhire

Fiona reckons Bill Manhire might like the Woolston Twisted Hop – “best home made beer in Christchurch” (she loved his wee book on South Island pubs).

Bill Manhire appears in:
The Perfect Short Story, Fri 26 Aug, 3.45pm
Power of Poetry, Fri 26 Aug, 5pm

David Levithan

David’s going to be delivering the Margaret Mahy lecture at the Festival.  Moata suggests a visit to the brilliant Margaret Mahy portrait by Glenda Randerson. It is on display at Central Library Manchester. I reckon he might like a visit to the playground named in her honour – with all its little Margaret Mahy words and images.

Portrait of Margaret Mahy by Glenda Randerson

David Levithan appears in:
Inspiring Writers – Secondary Schools Day, Thurs 25 Aug, 9.45am
Speaking Proud, Thurs 25 Aug, 6pm
Margaret Mahy Memorial Lecture, Sat 27 Aug, 9.30am

Visit our page on WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival 2016.

Have you got any picks for Festival guests? Share away!

Quick questions with Nadia Hashimi – WORD Christchurch

We are asking quick questions of writers and thinkers coming to the WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival on from 24 to 28 August.

Nadia Hashimi, born in the United States to Afghan parents, has degrees in Middle Eastern studies and biology, and is a trained paediatrician. Her 2014 debut novel The Pearl That Broke Its Shell was followed by When the Moon is Low. Her latest book is A House Without Windows.

Nadia Hashimi. Photo by Chris Cartter. Image supplied.
Nadia Hashimi. Photo by Chris Carter. Image supplied.

What are you looking forward to doing in Christchurch?

That’s going to depend on how hospitable the weather will be while I’m there. I’d love to see a wildlife preserve and to see how the people of Christchurch are rebuilding their city after the earthquake. I’m up for just about anything that will be uniquely Christchurch. Extra points for historical significance.

What do you think about libraries?

I could wax eloquent on libraries or I could quote Caitlin Moran who so brilliantly described libraries as “cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination.” They’ve been a part of my life since I was a child and going back to my hometown libraries to give book talks and has been an incredibly moving experience. In different times of my life, I’ve turned to libraries for different reasons. Libraries are where I:  blazed through summer reading challenges, had my first volunteer job, learned that my tween angst was not that abnormal, studied for medical school entrance exams, conducted research for my novels, found a quiet space to write my last chapter. Finally, the library is where I bring my children so they can do all the above and more as well.

What would be your “desert island book”?

CoverLove in the Time of Cholera. (Although, if I were allowed to bring my e-reader, I would have lots more options. Does the desert island have Wi-Fi?)

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

Though I’m a vegetarian, I hate mushrooms. They are fungi and should be treated as such. (No offense to mushroom lovers.)

Nadia Hashimi appears in:
Can Books Change the World?, Thurs 25 Aug, 6pm
Read the World, Sat 27 Aug, 12.15pm
An Hour with Nadia Hashimi, Sun 28 Aug, 3.30pm



Fast Five with Nadia Wheatley

There are some wonderful authors and illustrators for children who are coming to Auckland in August as part of the 2016 IBBY Congress. You can read all about who we are excited to meet in our post about the IBBY Congress here on the blog. We approached some of the speakers and asked them a few questions about books and libraries.

Today’s featured speaker is Australian author Nadia Wheatley:

What are you most looking forward to when you visit New Zealand for the 2016 IBBY Congress?

Meeting fellow authors, illustrators, readers and book-lovers from around the world.

What is your favourite memory of libraries?

I don’t have early memories of going to libraries and borrowing books because when I was growing up in the 1950s there weren’t many municipal libraries in Australia, and my school didn’t have a library until towards the end of my secondary years. However, my mother’s best friend from her childhood was the librarian in charge of a major library in the centre of Sydney, and sometimes we would pay her a visit when we went into town. Although my mother had been a nurse and she had many nursing colleagues who were still working, this librarian was the first woman I knew who had a professional office job. I always loved going to the library and seeing Auntie O (as I called her) sitting behind a big desk, surrounded by books.

What are 5 of your favourite books?

Impossible to choose only five favourite books, but here are some, in the order I read them:

Cover of Pippi LongstockingPippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren): This book provided a model of a happy orphan when my mother died, when I was nine years old.

Middlemarch (George Eliot): This was our set text in English when I was fifteen. I think it was the first really grown-up book I read.

Cover of The making of the English working classThe Making of the English Working Class (E.P. Thompson): I read this in 1968, when I was getting involved in radical politics. It helped me decide to become a historian.

The Member of the Wedding (Carson McCullers): My favourite book about what it means to be a misfit.

The Vivisector (Patrick White): My favourite book about about what it means to be an artist.

What do you love most about the world of children’s literature?

The friendship of my fellow book-makers and book-lovers.

What do you believe is the most important thing that adults can do to encourage children to read?

My general advice would be to read aloud to children, even when they are able to read for themselves. I also think of a phrase used by British novelist and critic, Aiden Chambers. He referred to what he called ‘the enabling adult’: the person (parent, teacher, librarian, friend) who introduces a particular book to a child, and helps her find her way into it. I remember that Aiden also once said to me that every time we read a new book, we need to learn how to read it. I think some wonderful books do need someone to introduce them to their readership.