An impressive line-up of international and Kiwi authors, including one of the world’s top crime writers Ian Rankin, writer and theatremaker Stella Duffy, multi-award-winning English novelist and journalist John Lanchester, Australian author Hannah Kent, English biographer and writer of Victorian thrillers MJ Carter and writer-performer Rebecca Vaughan, join the third Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival to be held May 9–14 2017.
The Festival programme includes more than 80 writers and performers across 36 public events – from writer workshops and panel sessions to poetry readings, theatrical events, author talks and family events. Programme Director Claire Finlayson says the diversity of writers and events on offer – many free – is designed to appeal to readers from all walks of life.
“As New Zealand’s only UNESCO city of literature, Dunedin is a booklover’s paradise and home to many of the country’s much-loved authors,” says Ms Finlayson.
“The Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival reflects our city’s range of interests and talents – from sessions on how to drink beer to a Flying Nun music event at the iconic Captain Cook bar, acoustic music with singer-songwriters Nadia Reid and Karl Bray, to a Mother’s Day brunch that brings together popular writer Emily Writes with Sunday magazine columnist Leah McFall. We have attracted writers from around the world alongside our top Kiwi and local Otago talent.”
Festival highlights include sessions with international authors and guests of the Auckland Writers Festival, Rankin, Duffy, Lanchester, Carter and Vaughan, who will go to Auckland after the Dunedin Festival. Vaughan’s ‘Jane Eyre: An Autobiography’ – in which she plays 24 characters – has been met with rave reviews across the globe.
Award-winning Australian author Hannah Kent also joins the Festival alongside New Zealand writers Catherine Chidgey, Glenn Colquhoun, Victor Rodger, Bill Manhire, Kate De Goldi, Paul Beavis and an array of local writers including Emma Neale, Majella Cullinane, Paddy Richardson and more.
One of the standout events will see nine out of the 10 New Zealand Poet Laureates come together for ‘A Circle of Laureates’, with Rob Tuwhare reading for his father, much-loved poet Hone Tuwhare.
Festival goers can also experience a taste of the writers on offer at the Metamorphosis Gala Showcase night on Friday 12 May at Toitū Otago Settlers Museum which features Ian Rankin, Stella Duffy, John Lanchester, Hannah Kent, Bill Manhire and Victor Rodger together with MC Kate De Goldi.
“We’re thrilled to be bringing some of the world’s best writers to Dunedin for a literary feast for young and old. It’ll be a week of excellently effervescent chat,” says Ms Finlayson.
“I encourage festival goers to get in early and secure their seats. Book your kid-sitters, file your annual leave forms, and shuffle swiftly to the ticket counter.”
The Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival is supported by Dunedin City Council, Creative NZ, Otago Community Trust, The Lion Foundation, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin Public Libraries, the New Zealand Book Council, Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, Dunedin Athenaeum & Mechanics’ Institute, Otago Access Radio, and Division of Humanities (Performing Arts Fund); and major sponsors Otago Daily Times, BrandAid, Otago University Press, University Book Shop and The Children’s Room and Bookshop, Marks & Worth, JW Smeaton, Scenic Hotel Southern Cross, helloworld, NHNZ, National Library of New Zealand, and Phantom Billstickers.