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A Botanical Sublime: New Writing for Henderson

  • Old St Michael's Church Corban Estate Art Centre Mount Lebanon Lane Auckland, Auckland New Zealand (map)

Join us to launch Outside the Square's inaugural writing series:

1pm - Sofya's Garden by Renee Liang
We invite you to attend a reading of Sofya's Garden, Renee Liang (Glucina)'s play for children (recommended age range 4-9). Inspired by oral histories from Croatian settlers in Henderson and old Croatian fairy tales, Sofya's Garden will take you on a magical journey rooted in West Auckland soil. The reading features live music, Renee's trademark humour and puppets if you're lucky.

3pm - A Botanical Sublime: Group discussion
Writers Paula Morris, Nina Seja, Ann Poulsen, and Renee Liang will read excerpts from their work and discuss the way Henderson's people, places, and botanical past influenced their writing process.  Chaired by Naomi McCleary.

Up the Creek: A personal essay by Paula Morris
Paula Morris grew up in Te Atatu South with a creek swamping the bottom of the garden. Her parents spent the last decade of their lives in Waitakere Gardens overlooking Opanuku Creek. In this personal reflection, Paula considers the role of creeks in Maurice Gee's work and the influence Henderson and its waterways have had on her own life and writing. 

Notes to a Human Specimen from Your Elders by Nina Seja
Pollen and spores travel – adventurers of their own. Like these biotic wonders, the renowned Lucy Cranwell also traveled the winds. Raised in Henderson, she left her mark around the world. She collected samples of her beloved pollen grains, fossils, and spores - a botanical sublime. Lucy Cranwell spent her life telling the story of nature. Nina Seja's inventive work gives nature a voice to tell Lucy’s story.

Memory of a Garden by Ann Poulsen
The Memory of a Garden is a 'close-reading' of the Japanese Garden at Waitakere Central, 6 Henderson Valley Road.  The garden is a dynamic site where two cities meet, share and exchange.  Ann Poulsen's work activates this overlooked space and reveals the critical memory the garden contains.

Later Event: 18 September
Two Films about Two NZ Writers