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Writers on Mondays

Writers on Mondays

Just over fifty poets, playwrights, novelists, non-fiction writers and filmmakers from New Zealand, Ireland and Australia will take part in the free Writers on Mondays series starting on 17 July and running every Monday from 1-2 pm at City Gallery Wellington until 2 October.

Chris Price, who co-ordinates the annual series presented by Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters, says, “It’s a great opportunity to find out what our emerging and established writers are up to, with a few international surprises thrown in for good measure. Writers on Mondays offers up-to-the-minute reports from the front lines of literature.”

On 17 July poetry is celebrated as 11 prominent Wellington poets read work from the anthology Best New Zealand Poems 05 in the run-up to Montana National Poetry Day. The reading is chaired by the Institute’s Director, Professor Bill Manhire, whose collection, Lifted, is shortlisted for this year’s Montana Poetry Award. On 24 July Aucklander Wystan Curnow talks art and poetry with Mark Amery.

The focus turns to film on 31 July as Taika Waititi and Loren Horsley preview their upcoming feature, Eagle vs Shark. Then in August audiences will be transported back in time for the literature of ‘Maoriland’. Other August events feature Irish professor of physics and poet Iggy McGovern, Victoria University Writer in Residence Bernadette Hall and Bluff poet Cilla McQueen.

September’s events allow audiences a look into the literary crystal ball, showcasing up-and-coming talent from the Institute’s Master of Arts in Creative Writing, and Writers on Mondays concludes on 2 October with two Australian guests, Cath Kenneally and Ken Bolton, who last appeared in Wellington ten years ago at Writers and Readers Week.

Writers on Mondays, Mondays 1-2 pm, City Gallery Wellington, from 17 July. Free admission.
For further information, contact Chris Price on (04) 463 5815 or email
Presented by the International Institute of Modern Letters in partnership with City Gallery Wellington. Supported by the New Zealand Poetry Society and Unity Books.

2006 Writers on Mondays programme

17 July Best New Zealand Poems 05
In the lead-up to Montana National Poetry Day, 11 poets put their best feet forward at City Gallery Wellington to kick off the 2006 Writers on Mondays series. Michele Amas, Angela Andrews, Jenny Bornholdt, James Brown, Geoff Cochrane, Mary Cresswell, Anna Livesey, Stephanie de Montalk, Gregory O'Brien, Vivienne Plumb and Ian Wedde read work chosen by editor Andrew Johnston for the anthology of Best New Zealand Poems 05. The readings are chaired by Professor Bill Manhire.

24 July Modern Colours: Wystan Curnow
Art curator and writer Wystan Curnow also features on the Best New Zealand Poems top-25 hit-list for 2004 and 2005 with work from his recent collection, Modern Colours, in which he nimbly re-imagines the world of early modernist painters. He will read from and discuss his work with Wellington art writer and Playmarket director Mark Amery.

31 July Eagle vs. Shark: Taika Waititi & Loren Horsley
Taika Waititi has been an actor, comedian, painter, photographer, writer and, perhaps most famously, director of the Oscar-nominated short film, Two Cars, One Night and the internationally acclaimed Tama Tu. Actor/director Loren Horsley has appeared in The Insiders Guide to Happiness, The Strip and Kombi Nation, and shares the writing credit with Waititi for the forthcoming feature film Eagle vs Shark. They talk about making their debut feature with filmmaker Lee-Jane Bennion-Nixon.

7 August ‘Maoriland’ revisited: Jane Stafford & Mark Williams
The literature of Maoriland, as New Zealand was popularly known from the 1880s to the beginning of the First World War, remains the ‘black hole’ in New Zealand’s literary memory. In the 1930s Allen Curnow and Denis Glover associated the Maoriland writers with sentiment, gentility and colonial deference, and inhabiting outmoded Victorian literary forms, while at the same time the business of settlement sidelined and dispossessed actual Māori. Jane Stafford and Mark Williams argue for a more complex reading of our early literature. They are introduced by publisher Fergus Barrowman.

14 August The King of Suburbia: Iggy McGovern
Iggy McGovern is an Associate Professor of physics at Trinity College Dublin, where he researches the structural and electronic properties of semiconductor surfaces. He is also a witty, playful poet whose first collection, The King of Suburbia, appeared in 2005, and was quickly reprinted. He appears in conversation with Professor Bill Manhire.

21 August Wind and Fire: Cilla McQueen
Cilla McQueen is a three-time winner of the New Zealand Book Award for poetry. Her latest work includes a book of poems, Fire Penny, and a CD (A Wind Harp) that features McQueen reading a selection of her work backed by Dunedin musicians The Blue Neutrinos. She flies in from the deep south to perform and discuss her poetry with Bernadette Hall (Cilla McQueen is presented in association with the New Zealand Poetry Society, with the support of Creative New Zealand).

28 August The Merino Princess: Bernadette Hall
Bernadette Hall’s selected poems (The Merino Princess) appeared in 2004, and she is the current Victoria University/Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence. The Canterbury poet and playwright appears in conversation with publisher Fergus Barrowman to discuss recent projects such as her collaboration with sculptor Llew Summers on his sometimes controversial Stations of the Cross, and offers a preview of work-in-progress, including her gothic romance novella.

4 September The Next Page (1)
A quartet of new work by writers from Victoria University’s MA in Creative Writing begins with readings of fiction, poetry and memoir from Sarah Barnett, Amy Brown, Pip Desmond, Robert Egan, Rebecca Lancashire, Therese Lloyd, Michelle O’Shaughnessy, Amanda Samuel, Rachael Schmidt and Nicholas Stanley. Chair: Damien Wilkins.

11 September The Next Page (2)
The season of emerging talent continues with another 10 writers for the page: this week Craig Cliff, Giovanna Fenster, Tom Fitzsimons, Emma Gallagher, Anna Horsley, Mary Macpherson, Kate Mahony, Lucy Orbell, Sue Orr and Abby Stewart read, chaired by Professor Bill Manhire.

18 September Short / Sharp / Script (1)
Scriptwriting is in the spotlight this week as professional actors give rehearsed readings from plays by writers taking the MA (Script) workshop, chaired by Ken Duncum. Five scripts, one lunch-hour, and always one of the fastest-moving and most unpredictable events. This session features work by Veialu Aila-Unsworth, Mike Borgfeldt, Sam Bradford, Katie Conaglen and Ben Hutchison.

25 September Short / Sharp / Script (2)
This week five more scripts are given the once-over by the actors and director. Edwin McRae, Branwen Millar, Rebekah Palmer, Benedict Reid and Brendon Simpson are the writers whose work is performed.

2 October Two Australian writers: Ken Bolton & Cath Kenneally
Ken Bolton and Cath Kenneally last performed in Wellington at Writers and Readers Week 10 years ago. Since then Cath has continued to work as an arts broadcaster and has published more poetry and a novel. Ken Bolton’s energetic output as a poet, art critic, publisher, and editor continues unabated with Little Esther Books and Adelaide's Lee Marvin Reading series. Cath and Ken update us on their work in readings and conversation with Gregory O’Brien.


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