Programme

Welcome to the revised 2021 WORD Christchurch Festival programme! 9–13 November.

In August, our original festival was cancelled when the country went into lockdown. Our team has worked hard to bring it back to life under challenging conditions. Read a special message from our programme directors here.

The WORD Christchurch Festival brings the city alive with books, storytelling and ideas from both near and far this November (9–13). WORD showcases our stories, tackles urgent global issues and harnesses technology to bring you speakers from afar in new and innovative ways. Featuring poets, novelists, journalists and thought leaders, there is something for all tastes. Spread the WORD!

Events are listed chronologically; use filters to sort by date, author and genre.

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Fiction

A CLEAR DAWN: NEW ASIAN VOICES FROM AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND

Friday, 12 November 2:00 pm

A Clear Dawn, edited by Paula Morris and Alison Wong, is the first ever anthology of Asian-New Zealand creative writing. Join contributors E Wen Wong, Nod Ghosh, Melanie Kwang, Russell Boey and host Neema Singh, with special guest Jeffrey Zhao on the erhu.

Free Entry

MARGARET MAHY MEMORIAL LECTURE: BEN BROWN

Saturday, 13 November 12:00 pm

Ben Brown is the inaugural Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador, travelling the nation to nurture young readers. But how do you combine oral storytelling traditions and reading? Ben draws on kā awhi rito, the mature leaves which support the young shoot of a harakeke plant, and his life as a poet and educator, to talk about building children’s imagination and confidence through storytelling in all its forms.

Book Launch

THE LIVING MOUNTAINS

Saturday, 13 November 2:00 pm

Join Tā Tipene O'Regan and Nic Low for a conversation about the old Ngāi Tahu trails through the Southern Alps, and the rich histories contained in Māori placenames and maps.

Free Entry

KĀ WAI O TAHU: NGĀI TAHU’S LEGAL ACTION OVER WATER

Saturday, 13 November 4:00 pm

Join Dr Te Maire Tau and Dr Mike Joy for an in-depth discussion of Ngāi Tahu's current legal action, and the history, tikanga and science of water.

Free Entry

FOUNDATION POP-UP FESTIVAL (AKA THE NOT-QUITE-NEW REGENT STREET POP-UP FESTIVAL)

Saturday, 13 November 5:00 pm

While COVID venue restrictions mean we can't actually hold the New Regent Street pop-up festival on New Regent Street, we can bring you the same lineup of back-to-back readings, games interactive poetry, talks and more in a single sweet venue: Foundation at Tūranga. Full programme online soon. It'll be a buzz: see you there!

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