One of the reasons why I love the WORD Christchurch festival so much is that it includes something for everyone, not just the stereotypical literary festival attendee that you might be picturing in your head. The programme itself can be overwhelming, however, so our new Tūranga Youth Librarians have narrowed down their top picks that might be of interest to young adults. Student rush tickets will be available on the day of events for $12 with student ID, and there are plenty of free options too.
- Inspiring Writers Secondary Schools Day
Free! Register to hear science communicator Laurie Winkless, YA author Juno Dawson, poet Hollie McNish and Australian author and hip-hop artist Omar Musa present at the University of Canterbury, free for Christchurch secondary school students.
- GO YA
Free! Features three YA authors reading from their latest works, introduced by fellow YA author Paula Morris. Whiti Hereaka won praise for their first YA novel, Bugs, and will be reading from their new time-slip novel Legacy. Juno Dawson (writer of teen non-fiction and dark thrillers) also appears in Juno Dawson: Gender Games, where they will be chatting with local YA author Karen Healey about Doctor Who, writing, and gender; and Yaba Badoe will be reading from A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars, a novel involving magic and growing up in the circus. (Hear more in her panel: Yaba Badoe: Fire, Stars and Witches.)
- Bad Diaries Salon
$10/12 Everyone has written a diary once in their life right, but have you actually kept your diary and cringed over it as you grew older and “wiser”? Bad Diaries Salon will feature local and international writers reading from their diaries on the theme of risk. Original and unedited this session will be both funny and uncomfortable (in a good way).
- The Christchurch Poetry Slam Finals:
$10 Competitive poetry is a pretty weird concept, but absolutely worth checking out. Poetry slams are generally a pretty bold and boisterous affair, and this one will be extra special — not only are there some exceptional young poets coming out of Christchurch at the moment, but the guest poet will be USA/NZ slam legend Carrie Rudzinski. (Alina: A bit further afield, but you can also check out Slam Poetry in Waimakariri featuring some talented students from local schools.)
- Kā Huru Manu: My Names Are the Treasured Cloak Which Adorns The Land
Free! Kā Huru Manu is a Ngāi Tahu digital atlas which records the Māori place names and histories of the Ngāi Tahu rohe (tribal area). I heard Takerei Norton speak about the history of this project at a conference for librarians last year and really enjoyed it. It was interesting to hear about how place names and their meaning were recorded in the past (often incorrectly) and I was blown away to learn that so much of our landscape has a story. This should be a great talk for those interested in New Zealand history, geography, and digital technology.
- FAFSWAG: Vogue!
Free! Something a little bit different. Manu and Tamatoa from the House of FAFSWAG are running an open workshop on voguing. You’ll learn the five elements of vogue femme – catwalk, hand performance, duck-walk, floor performance, and spin/dips. It sounds like it’ll be a fun time! Manu will also be on the panel for Comfortable In Your Skin (koha entry), where queer people of colour will be discussing their writing, art, and activism.
- Nanogirl: Cooking with Science!
$15 Dr Michelle Dickinson aka Nanogirl takes you on a scientific journey through the kitchen. Her recipes are science experiences you can eat! There will even be the chance for the audience to volunteer to take part in experiments. Grab a copy of Nanogirl’s The Kitchen Science Cookbook from your local library and give a recipe a try!
- The Nerd Degree
$17/19 A fantastically funny panel show which records a live podcast every month on a different theme and featuring a diverse bunch of nerdy comedians. For the WORD Christchurch festival, host Brendon Bennetts will be challenging the wits of four writers for our amusement.
- Ant Sang: Dharma Punk
$10/12 You might know Sang through his work on the TV series bro’Town or his graphic novel Shaolin Burning — if not, his latest comic features a woman kidnapped by time-travelling ninjas, so that seems like a pretty good place to start. If you’re a fan of graphic novels or animation/illustration, head along to his session with Tracy Farr.
- You Write Funny
Free! This promises to be a barrel of laughs, featuring readings from visiting writers and poets on humorous subjects, MC’d by our very own librarian by day, poet/comedian by night Ray Shipley.