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Who cares about your memoir? Who cares about anything else?

Monday, 3 September 2018

Poet and memoir writer Kate Camp will give this year's Frank Sargeson Memorial lecture at the University of Waikato next Monday September 10th.

Kate starting writing memoir when she was in France on the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship in 2017 and found it raised lots of questions; about fact and fiction, ethics and ego, what one hides and what one chooses to reveal. Her Waikato lecture follows on from that asking why bother with memoir at all?

"Who could possibly be interested in the lino of my childhood kitchen, or the throat-catch feeling of my first cigarette?" asks Kate.

"And yet, other than memory, what are we? What could be more fascinating, more profound, than the grains of human detail that make up any one existence?
In this lecture I will circle around these questions, through the lens of my own work, and the work of other New Zealand writers.”

With her trademark mix of intellect and irreverence, she considers whether memoir writing is a symptom of modern self-obsession, or a profound way to access what it means to be human.

The Annual Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture hosted jointly by the University of Waikato and the Friends of Hamilton Public Library commemorates one of New Zealand's most important writers.

Frank Sargeson was born in London Street, Hamilton in 1903. He trained as a solicitor and travelled in Europe before settling in Takapuna on Auckland's North Shore, where he devoted his life to his writing, to his garden, and to mentoring younger writers: most famously, Janet Frame wrote her first novel Owls Do Cry in an army hut in his back garden. More than any other writer, Sargeson captured a working-class New Zealand vernacular, and the society that gave rise to it. His influential and quintessentially Kiwi work was published around the world.

The 16th Annual Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture

Monday 10th September, 2018
Lecture begins 5.30pm. Light refreshments to follow, from 6.30pm
S.1.04 - S Block, University of Waikato


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