July 6, 2021
There are too many festival highlights to mention here, including the eight international writers appearing in The Faraway Near, but for a start, just because the borders are (mostly) closed, it doesn’t mean we can’t welcome international writers!
On opening night, we feature a collaboration with Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Galway (Tautitotito Whenua: Reciprocal Songs of the Land). On Saturday morning, you’re invited to an early audience with Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, beaming in live from Windsor for a cup of tea and a chat with Nicky Pellegrino at the James Hay Theatre. Helen Clark reports from the frontline of global issues. Happily, British-American book dealer and novelist Rick Gekoski is currently in New Zealand, so we grabbed him for a session of fascinating anecdotes about the literary world on Saturday afternoon. That evening, treat yourself to an intimate and intriguing evening of music and story with novelist David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas) and New Zealand songstress Hollie Fullbrook of Tiny Ruins in If I Were a Story and You Were a Song, and then get to the Piano for a special live broadcast from the Edinburgh International Book Festival, with avid WORD supporter Ian Rankin. On Sunday morning, we are honoured to present a conversation with the wonderful Patricia Grace.
Festival evenings are rich with shining events of music, poetry and storytelling. Te Piki o Tāwhaki: The Ascent of Tāwhaki brings to life the stories embedded in our beloved Tūranga on Thursday night, and that night we also bring back the sell-out Adventurous Women, with five incredible storytellers. On Friday you can sample some of the festival’s stars presenting unforgettable new writing in This Place You Return to is Home, or experience a night of indigenous poetry and music in Confluence, curated by Daisy Speaks. Finally, on Sunday, we close the festival with a glorious musical and lyrical celebration of te wai o Te Waipounamu in Kā Wai o Tahu: Marlon Williams, Ariana Tikao and Ruby Solly.