Festival announces ‘cracking’ line-up

Line-up revealed . . . Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival programme director Claire Finlayson speaks at Monday's launch. PHOTO: ALEX LOVELL-SMITH

International stars of the literary world will rub shoulders with national and local writers in a “cracking good line-up” for the 2019 Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival.

The programme for the festival was launched at Gallaway Cook Allan on Monday evening.

Held every two years, the fourth Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival will run from from May 9 to 12.

After introductions from festival chairwoman Alexandra Bligh and Dunedin City Councillor Christine Garey, festival programme director Claire Finlayson told Monday’s gathering it was very nice to “finally set the programme free”.

The festival will feature 60 authors in 36 events across four days.

Topics will range from fake news, feminism, and race to hip-hop, Shakespeare, and the Dunedin sound.

Eight international authors will be special guests of the festival, including best-selling Irish novelist John Boyne, award-winning UK hip-hop artist and author Akala, English writer-performer Rebecca Vaughan, French picture-book author-illustrators Eric Veille and Clotilde Perrin, and Australian authors Markus Zusak, Clementine Ford, and Australian Children’s Lareate Morris Gleitzman.

Among many highlights of the festival would be the presence of Te Reo Maori educators and authors Stacey and Scotty Morrison, who would lead a workshop on “Te Reo, Hip-Hop and Shakespeare” for high school pupils, as well as discussing “The Te Reo Boom” in a public session, Ms Finlayson said.

Dunedin authors will make a strong showing in the workshop sessions and talks.

Among them will be Emily Duncan, Philip Temple, Shane Carter, Liam McIlvanney, Vincent O’Sullivan, Sarah Gallagher and Ian Chapman.Printed copies of the festival programme are available around Dunedin, and the full programme is online.