INDEPENDENT NEWS

The Festival within the Festival

Published: Tue 17 Nov 2009 03:38 PM
The Festival within the Festival
9-14 March 2010
Around the world attendance at literary festivals is skyrocketing. Writers and readers, in ever increasing numbers, are coming together to share ideas, explore and reflect on the world in which we live.
In 2010 New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week will bring together some of the most exciting voices in literature, science, philosophy, history, travel writing, genre fiction and children’s literature.
The 19 international and 3 New Zealand writers announced thus far include some of literature’s luminaries as well as tomorrow’s stars. In a programme that will echo the themes of the larger Festival, New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week will explore the issues surrounding religious tolerance, the consequences of history, our political future, colonisation, troubled families and the thrill of the sinister. All in a programme that is as challenging as it is entertaining for readers of every age.
The 2010 line-up includes some of contemporary fiction’s very best writers including literary superstars Neil Gaiman, Richard Dawkins and Simon Schama. American novelist Susanna Moore, Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie and the phenomenally popular German novelists Daniel Kehlmann and Iliya Troyanov, as well as our own Emily Perkins. Less well known here in New Zealand, but quickly making names for themselves internationally are Canadian novelists Lisa Moore and Gil Adamson, and Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk. From across the Tasman come two fabulous fiction writers Joan London and Margo Lanagan. Our featured genre writers include Spooks scriptwriter and novelist Neil Cross and Booker Prize short-list writer Sarah Waters.
Poets are always one of the most highly anticipated parts of New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week, and 2010 will feature three wonderful poets - New Zealand’s own Bill Manhire, Canadian poet and arts journalist Kevin Connolly, and English poet and playwright Glyn Maxwell.
The 2010 non-fiction list includes some of our most controversial and influential thinkers, including the philosopher Peter Singer and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. History plays a major role in the 2010 programme and the Festival is delighted to be hosting both Simon Schama and James Belich. Writers of both nonfiction and fiction are the wonderfully talented Geoff Dyer and Chloe Hooper. Gold Partners: New Zealand Post Group, TV3, Clemenger BBDO, Pacific Blue. Funders: Absolutely Positively Wellington, Creative New Zealand
New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week returns to its home in the Embassy Theatre. New for 2010 are the Town Hall Talks which will feature Richard Dawkins, Simon Schama and Neil Gaiman in conversation. Also new in 2010 is An Afternoon Tea with Sarah Waters.
The New Zealand International Arts Festival is again thrilled to present Once Upon A Deadline, New Zealand’s only writing marathon. This single day, free event will see six writers armed with laptops following a mystery course around the city Googling as they go. Watch out as writers appear in unlikely places, including the writer’s cage. Join 2008 champion David Geary as he defends his title at the Town Hall for the Read-Off.
For the kids Young Writers and Readers Day returns, this time at Capital E with a day-long programme featuring Joy Cowley, Gavin Bishop, Paula Green and Fifi Colston.
The full New Zealand Post Writers and Readers programme will be launched on 26 January 2010 and public sales open on 9 February 2010.
ENDS

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