Books & Writers Weekend-SAT-2015
Coffee / Tea
Vintage to Vanguard
From the gift shop to the art gallery paua shell jewellery has traversed from 1940s love token to derided tourist souvenir to avant-garde adornment displayed on the walls of the world’s longest running jewellery gallery Fingers. It took an immigrant from the Netherlands, Elly van de Wijdeven with her outsider’s eye, to recognise and record our commercial paua jewellery industry in her book Vintage Paua Shell Jewellery: art souvenir, tourist kitsch, Kiwi icon. Auckland’s Fingers jewellery collective recognised the power of paua in their landmark 1981 Paua Dreams exhibition, transforming paua from kitsch to cool. The Fingers jewellers (many from West Auckland) pioneered the use of shell, bone and stone in contemporary jewellery reflecting an indigenous heritage. Finn McCahon-Jones and co-author Damian Skinner have honoured the Fingers story in Fingers: Jewellery for Aotearoa New Zealand. Finn and Elly are in conversation with jewellery aficionado and art gallery dealer Anna Miles.
Stephanie Johnson returns to talk with Harry Ricketts about her new novel, The Writers’ Festival. As both of these writers have been involved in the advent of literary festivals for many years we anticipate thoughtful, entertaining and witty insights that may, or may not, have relevance to Going West.
A Walk on the Wild Side
A Walk on the Wild Side brings Chris Maclean and Shaun Barnett together with Geoff Chapple in a session that explores and celebrates the unique qualities of the New Zealand landscape and bush. Chris and Shaun have produced Tramping: a New Zealand History, a major work on the magic of our love affair with our rugged landscape, while Geoff, founder of the New Zealand-long trail Te Araroa, also knows the back country, and in his new book Terrain: travels through a deep landscape, walks side by side with geologists to explore the tectonic forces that make up Aotearoa.
Supported by Potton & Burton
What Lies Beneath
Memoir can be both catharsis and connection; a path to an emotional truth that may be beyond the complex nature of memory. In What Lies Beneath writer Elspeth Sandys reveals, in conversation with Murray Gray, her search for her birth parents born, in part, of a need to ‘dispel the ancestral darkness’ she felt enveloped her. Eloquent, humorous and full of feeling, this is a memoir that will have you re-thinking your own past.
Plumbing the Depths
Maurice Gee, whose novel Going West was the spark that created this festival 20 years ago is one of our most loved and revered writers. In her long awaited biography of Gee, Rachel Barrowman explores the life and work of this master novelist whose early work was set in West Auckland. She is in conversation with Geoff Chapple, Gee’s cousin, who will contribute an illuminating insight into his writing and its relationship to Gee’s life.
The View to Muddy Creek
‘Much of my life, possibly too much, has been lived in a studio set above a serene New Zealand estuary. This hermit hideout, where I write now, is fringed with spindly mangroves, wreathed with rainforest, and always under siege from loudmouthed birds.’
Maurice Shadbolt, From the Edge of the Sky, 1999
To celebrate the launching of a project, supported by the Waitakere Ranges Local Board, to develop a Writers’ Residency at 35 Arapito Road, Titirangi, we visit the house from which Maurice Shadbolt produced almost the entire canon of his work and talk about the life of this most loved New Zealand writer. Son, Sean Shadbolt, publisher, David Ling and biographer, Lucy Treep will converse with Naomi McCleary who has nurtured the dream of a residency in Maurice’s house from the time of Waitakere City’s purchase in 2004 through to the present time.
NZ Invents the World
From the Thermette and the electric fence to DNA, from ingenious and useful devices to reshaped science and new modes of thinking that (eventually) sweep the world, the range of New Zealand inventions and their influence is staggering. No.8 Re-wired: 202 New Zealand Inventions that Changed the World delves into NZ inventions and their inventors, some household names, some yet to be known outside their own fields, and some that seem to have been always with us – who knew that that had to be invented? And who knew it was a Kiwi who invented it? Authors Jon Bridges & David Downs revel in their subject matter, in their book and in conversation with the inventive bar-room broadcaster Wallace Chapman .
Damon Keen and Amie Maxwell are the editors of the wickedly good Faction: New Zealand Comic Anthology. Lucy Lawless described Faction’s latest edition High Water as a jolly horror comic. Eleven comic artists take a look at a possible future in a world shaped by man-made climate change. Poetic, political, profound, each comic artist brings their perspective to this global issue, managing to never be preachy or overly earnest. Three of the artists featured – Damon Keen, Katie O’Neill and Toby Morris – share the stage with Amie Maxwell and are in conversation with cartoonist, comics writer and blogger Adrian Kinnaird.
2015 Poetry Slam Register to Perform
2015 Poetry Slam Slam Begins
This is where the spoken word hits the road in a fast-paced evening of competitive performance poetry with generous cash prizes. With courage to the fore, poets from all backgrounds and beliefs speak from the heart with passion, intelligence and a desire to tell their stories. It is powerful and, above all, immensely entertaining.