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A capital literary season with Writers on Mondays

A capital literary season with Writers on Mondays

Another stimulating line-up of new fiction, poetry, scriptwriting and nonfiction returns to Wellington as part of the popular annual Writers on Mondays series.

Beginning in mid-July and presented by Victoria University of Wellington's International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) in conjunction with Te Papa, the series’ special international guest for 2014 is United Kingdom based novelist, publisher, translator, poet and anthologist, Michael Schmidt.

Michael’s illustrious career includes founding Carcanet Press and editing the world-class literary journal PN Review.

In conversation with poet, painter and essayist Greg O’Brien, Michael will discuss his latest work, a history of fiction simply called The Novel: A Biography.

IIML director Professor Damien Wilkins believes the 2014 programme is a wonderful combination of new voices and established writers.

“This will make this series a brilliant fixture on the literary calendar.”

The Writers on Mondays programme starts on Monday 14 July with what is set to be a lively session featuring Auckland-based novelist and journalist Tim Wilson.

Reading from his raucous new satirical novel News Pigs, Tim will interrogate New Zealand’s self-image as “the Plucky Little Country” with fellow broadcaster and writer Richard Langston.

The following week, the audience will hear from three new poets–Maria McMillan, Rachel O’Neill and Marty Smith–who will give readings and discuss about their debut collections of poetry.

Next, literary all-rounder Geoff Cochrane will join publisher Fergus Barrowman in conversation about Astonished Dice, a new collection of Cochrane's best short stories.

August will feature Victoria University/Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence Hinemoana Baker, who will share her experience of the residency, read from her new book of poems, and reveal some of her work in progress–a moving personal account of involuntary childlessness and her father’s traumatic childhood in a Nelson orphanage.

Curator Kirstie Ross will join Victoria’s Kate Hunter to share some of the treasures they discovered while writing Holding on to Home, an account of New Zealanders’ experience of World War I told through objects that act as emotional touchstones to bring this distant event back into our hands.

National Poetry Day will also be celebrated when nine top poets read work selected for the 2013 edition of Best New Zealand Poems (, introduced by the anthology’s editors, Professors Jane Stafford and Mark Williams.

Returning to fiction, Dominion Post columnist and Commonwealth Writers’ Best First Book Prize winner Craig Cliff and Ngā Kupu Ora award winner Tina Makereti talk about writing into the spaces between magic, realism and history in their acclaimed novels The Mannequin Makers and Where the Rēkohu Bone Sings.

September will showcase the emerging new voices from the IIML’s Master of Arts in Creative Writing Programme. The penultimate session will feature seasoned scriptwriters Peter Cox, Kelly Marshall and Dave Armstrong who will talk about the highs and lows of the scriptwriting life.

The 2014 series rounds off with a trio of writers discussing newly released memoirs of home, exile and pain: Ian Wedde (The Grass Catcher), Helena Wísniewska Brow (Give Us This Day) and Stephanie de Montalk (How Does it Hurt?).

Writers on Mondays events run from 12.15–1.15pm, each Monday from 14 July until 29 September at Te Papa, The Marae, Level 4. Admission is free.

Writers on Mondays is presented by Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and National Poetry Day. Michael Schmidt’s visit is funded by the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation at Victoria University.

The full 2014 Writers on Mondays programme can be viewed online:


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