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Our festival-within-a-festival is back for another marathon of stunning performances and outrageous gimmicks, in a showcase of Ōtautahi and Aotearoa’s finest word people.

Featuring close to 40 performers, and curated by WORD’s own programmer-at-large, Audrey Baldwin, 2022’s pop-up is a seven-course feast covering amuse-bouche haiku, new release entrees, a fresh soup of emerging talent, tāngata moana kai moana, the meat and potatoes of algorithms doing violence to classic literature, then on to a bittersweet desert of heartbreak and lust…with karaoke to close. Drop in and out at any time.


Amuse bouche 5.15pm – 5.35pm

A little somethin’ somethin to whet the appetite? A wee morsel to tease the tongue? We’re starting off with some short and tasty texts. Perhaps a haiku, a Limerick, a ditty. Dynamite comes in small packages, and these peices will be just that.

Dominic Hoey
Ben O’Connell
Ava Strother
Kidd’ (Hsin-Yi) Chien

Entree 5.45pm – 6.25pm

A good entree leaves you ready for more! We’ll hear from a handful of writers who have new publications, hot off the press and ready for you to devour. An opportunity to find out more about the key ingredients and techniques that go into a perfectly balanced book via quickfire questions and tantalising excerpts.

Luke Elworthy
Frankie Macmillan
Chloe Lane
Nick Bollinger

Kaimoana 6.35pm – 7.15pm

We’ve netted some amazing tangata moana performers, ready to soak your senses with powerful poems and prose. You’ll be hooked!

Tina Makereti
Danielle O’Halloran -Thyne
Isla Martin
Jess Marama
Kahu Tumai
Juanita Hepi

Soup Du Jour 7.25pm – 8.05pm

Curated by Josiah Morgan, a selection of young writers showcasing fresh works to challenge and delight.

Noah McKay
Josiah Morgan
Grace Prodanov
Grace Opie
Freddy Thornton
Cerys Fletcher
Hannah-Grace Horton

Weird Stew Made by Robots 8.15pm – 8.50pm

Robots vs Classics is back! In this comedic course, we invite writers to feed a classic text of their choice through a digital process. See what robots such as google tanslate do to staple literary works by Shakespeare, Austen or ….Ed Sheeran?

Claudia Jardine
Vana Manasiadis
Frances Samuel
Ricky Townsend
Brannavan Gnanalingam

Dessert 9.00pm – 9.40pm

You can’t have the sweet without the salty; join these delectable poets as they share bittersweet stories of heartbreak, heart ache, lust and idealism.

Laura Borrowdale
Cassie Hart
Rebecca K Reilly
Hester Ullyart
Dominic Hoey
Chris Tse

Digestif 9.50pm – 10pm

A playful digestif to get the (spontaneous, organised-on-the-spot) after-party started – brave writers read aloud a mystery poem from a sealed envelope and perform it as best they can – it’s lucky dip poetry karaoke!

With special guests.

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