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In conversation with leading New Zealand writers

In conversation with leading New Zealand writers – a winter series

Friends of the Michael King Writers’ Centre will launch a new series of writer events this winter, featuring leading New Zealand writers in conversation. The first in the series will bring together authors Peter Wells and Shonagh Koea in conversation on Sunday April 27 at the Michael King Writers’ Centre.

Other guests in the series will include art writer and biographer Joanne Drayton and film-maker Gaylene Preston later in the year. Each writer will be in conversation with another writer, a friend or colleague, making for a relaxed and informal discussion about their work.

The “In conversation” events will be held once a month, usually on the last Sunday, from April to August this year starting at 4 pm. Most will be held at the Michael King Writers’ Centre on Takarunga Mt Victoria in Devonport.

Peter Wells, from Napier, is the current writer in residence at the centre. He is a writer and film-maker who has had huge success since his first book of short stories Dangerous Desires won the 1992 NZ Book Award for Fiction. His memoir the Long Loop Home won the 2002 Montana Book Award for Biography and his biography of William Colenso The Hungry Heart was finalist for the NZ Post Book Awards in 2011. The same year he was awarded Creative New Zealand’s Michael King Fellowship for Journey to a Hanging - Carl Sylvius Volkner & Kereopa Te Rau, to be published by Random Penguin in May. He co-founded the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival, and was creative director in 2000, 2001, then from 2003 to 2008. In 1999 was declared New Zealander of the Year by North & South magazine. He has been made a Member of the Order of New Zealand for services to film and literature.

Shonagh Koea is an equally distinguished author, who has written seven novels and three collections of short stories. She began her career as a journalist before being driven to write fiction. She went on to win many significant awards and prizes for her work. The Kindness of Strangers (Kitchen Memoirs), published in 2007, is a collection of Koea’s memories from her various roles as daughter, wife, mother, journalist and novelist. Her books include Sing to Me, Dreamer, originally published in 1994, The Wedding at Bueno Vista (1996) and The Lonely Margins of the Sea (1999). All of these have recently been reissued by Random House. Staying Home and Being Rotten (2006) achieved acclaim and her latest novel is Landscape with Solitary Figure published this year.

Peter Wells and Shonagh Koea in conversation at the Michael King Writers’ Centre
Sunday April 27, 2014, 4 pm. Bookings recommended.


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