Full programme for Readers and Writers Festival

Published date15 March 2023
Publication titleWest Coast Messenger, The
Bookings coming in, and as there is limited space (50 people), organisers advise to book early

The festival will take place on King's Birthday Weekend, running from midday Saturday, June 3 to Sunday evening. This year's theme is Landscapes, Political and Spiritual. It will take place once again in the beautiful and intimate setting of the local school.

To begin the festival, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman and Michael Steven will 'recover' the work of Greymouth-bred Bill Pearson, novelist and cultural critic, who broke new ground in the gestation of New Zealand writing with his novel Coal Flat, written after a stint teaching in Blackball in the 1940s. His essay, Fretful Sleepers was also a seminal critique of settler puritanism.

After a break, Paddy Richardson will be interviewed by Paul Maunder about her new WW1 novel The Green of the Spring which continues the Blackball connections of Through the Lonesome Dark.

There will be a half hour available for people to briefly pitch any books they are offering for sale.

After dinner, hosted by Catherine Woollett, Paul Maunder will launch his new book, Solidarity, a Blackball novel, Michael Steven and Jeffrey Paparoa Holman will read a selection of poems pertinent to the festival theme before Harry Broad will introduce the mystery of Blackball communists, Bill and Annie Balderstone.

On Sunday morning, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman will talk with poet Nic Low (Ngai Tahu) whose book Uprising, walking the Southern Alps of NZ is 'an invitation to travel one of the world's most spectacular landscapes in the company of Maori explorers, raiding parties, and gods'.

After morning tea, children's author Bill Nagelkerke will talk with teacher Zella Downing about his recent books, The Ghosts on the Hill and The Ghost House, which trace Christchurch's past, and Jane Carswell will discuss with Caroline...

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