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NZ’s Biggest Literature Festival Launches 2012 Programme





PRESS RELEASE: Embargoed until 7pm, 20 MARCH 2012


New Zealand’s biggest festival of literature and ideas has announced its full May 2012 lineup of more than 100 leading international and New Zealand writers and thinkers, including prizewinners Jeffrey Eugenides and Roddy Doyle; cosmologist and public intellectual Lawrence Krauss, prizewinning Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings, spy fiction author Dame Stella Rimington, New Zealand icon Maurice Gee and bestselling international crime writer Peter James.

Programmed to take place from 0913 May in the heart of Auckland, and combining a dedicated twoday schools’ programme with three days and nights of public sessions, it will feature a diverse programme of fiction, science, religion, poetry, journalism, history and the arts, from literary offerings to popular fare.

“This is a programme designed to reach out across the country, providing stimulation, insight and pleasure to all New Zealanders, no matter what their reading interests. With a stellar lineup in and around the Festival’s Aotea Centre home, delivered with the flair and polish for which we have become known, there is something for everyone,” says Artistic Director Anne O’Brien.


Twentythree international writers are confirmed to attend. The full list includes: prizewinning novelists Roddy Doyle (Ire) and Jeffrey Eugenides (US); English thriller writers Stella Rimington and Peter James; fine fiction authors Sebastian Barry (Ire), Jesmyn Ward (US), Charlotte Wood (UK) and A.D. Miller (UK); Australian diva Kathy Lette, cosmologist and public intellectual Lawrence Krauss (US); Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings; biographer Caroline Moorehead, international economy consultant Chandran Nair, educational psychologist Barbara Arrowsmith Young (Can), evolution theorist Danny Vendramini (Aus) and essayists Geoff Dyer (UK) and Martin Edmond (Aus); and leading children’s writers Oliver Jeffers, Eoin Colfer, Mal Peet and Emily Rodda.

Spoken word performers are the Tony Award winning Lemon Anderson (US) and Australian Poetry Slam Champion Luka Lesson (Aus) who will light up the stage.


The distinguished New Zealand lineup is headlined by a rare appearance with muchloved Maurice Gee, the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival’s inaugural Honoured New Zealand Writer. Free tickets to this session can be booked for under18s.

Gee will be joined by some of our finest including Dame Anne Salmond, Dame Fiona Kidman, Witi Ihimaera, Emily Perkins, Anthony McCarten, Brian Boyd, Ian Wedde, Lloyd Geering, Anne Kennedy, Greg McGee and the inimitable Rhys Darby.




There will be new sessions at The University of Auckland and the Auckland Art Gallery and opportunities to hear from leading arts practitioners including Dick Frizzell, Tusi Tamasese, Doris de Pont and Nathan & Joel Haines.

Other sessions will touch on filmmaking, literary prizes, contemporary Maori literature, the poetry of Tuwhare, the history of Remuera and much more, as well as catered special events including Lunch with Dame Stella Rimington at Soul Bar, a preMothers’ Day High Tea at Auckland’s Langham Hotel, a Girls’ Night Out adventure combining Cable Bay wine tastings and canapés in a session with Kathy Lette, a Business Breakfast with international consultant Chandran Nair at the Langham Hotel, and the highly popular Poetry Idol.

Tickets for all sessions go on sale 22 March starting at $15 at All biography and session information can be found in our online programme at


The Auckland Writers & Readers Festival Charitable Trust warmly thanks:

Gold Sponsors: Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Ltd, New Zealand Listener, The University of Auckland Silver Sponsors: The NZ Herald, NewstalkZB, PMP Limited Bronze Sponsors: Allpress Espresso, Cable Bay Vineyards, McGovern Online Publisher Sponsors: Allen & Unwin, Hachette New Zealand, HarperCollins Publishers (New Zealand) Ltd, Penguin Books New Zealand, Random House New Zealand Schools Programme Sponsors: ASB Community Trust, Creative NZ, Australia Council for the Arts, Pub Charity, South Pacific Pictures, SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust, The Trusts Community Foundation, The University of Auckland, The NZ Herald, Walker Books, HarperCollins (New Zealand) Ltd, Penguin Books New Zealand, Pan Macmillan, APRA/AMCOS, Warehouse Stationery Foundations, Trusts and Grantmakers: APRA/AMCOS, ASB Community Trust, Asia New Zealand Foundation, Australia Council for the Arts, Creative New Zealand, Lion Foundation, Sir John Logan Campbell Residuary Estate, SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust, The Trusts Community Foundation Strategic Partners: ALT Group, The Edge, Sheffield, The Langham Auckland Supporters and Suppliers: Gregor Kregar Artist, Delmaine Fine Foods, Pan Macmillan, Qantas, Nielsen Book Data, Exotic Planters Ltd, Talk of Turkey, The Audience Connection, Whittaker’s, Phantom Billstickers, Script to Screen, Booksellers NZ.


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