Literature is in the air in Dunedin this week, with talented writers from across New Zealand and around the world arriving for the fourth Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival.
It has been a “mad gallop” for board members, staff and volunteers in the past few weeks, as they bring together 60 participants across 36 book-related events.
“We are a very small team, but everyone is dedicate to bringing a top-quality festival to the city,” festival programme director Claire Finlayson said.
Running from today until Sunday, the four-day festival is compact, but packs a punch on topics as diverse as motherhood, comedy, poetry, music, feminism, fake news, Shakespeare, te reo Maori and much more.
Ms Finlayson is excited that the festival is getting under way, and is pleased by the community’s response to many events.
“We are very keen to spread the word about the great events we have for parents and children,” she said.
These included the Story Time Train, which departs from Dunedin Railway Station at 8.45am on Saturday, taking families to Port Chalmers Library.
There they will take part in a session with author-illustrator Toby Morris and costume-maker Fifi Coulston.
Other highlights for younger folk will include sessions with Australian Children’s Laureate Morris Gleitzman, author and illustrator Gavin Bishop, and a session with Stuart Lipshaw, writer of Oh Boy: A Storybook of Epic NZ Men
Ms Finlayson is also keen to spread the word about Dear Motherhood, a Mother’s Day session with something to offer everyone.
Five mums – Clementine Ford, Michele A’Court, Tina Makereti, Majella Cullinane, and Louise Wallace – will join MC Charlotte McKay from 1.30pm at Dunedin Public Art Gallery to share their thoughts on motherhood.
Poetry is also a highlight of the Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival, with workshops, readings and discussions planned.
Five poets, including Tayi Tibble, David Eggleton, Liz Breslin, Michael Harlow, Majella Cullinane, will join MC Victor Billot, to read some of their latest work at The Savoy tonight, from 9pm.