Aug 23, 2022 Books
The Auckland Writers Festival is renowned for bringing together the very best local and international writers and thinkers in a week-long celebration of books and ideas. Now in its 23rd year, the festival will be held in Tāmaki Makaurau between 22 and 28 August 2022, and promises another rich and electrifying mix of authors across fiction, non-fiction and poetry, as well as public performances and theatre. From globally feted journalists and prize-winning novelists, to scientists, comedians, artists and public intellectuals, the 2022 festival will present more than 160 unmissable public events (both free and ticketed) this year.
THE NAKED SAMOANS
LET’S GET NAKED: THE NAKED SAMOANS
Funny guys David Fane, Mario Gaoa, Shimpal Lelisi, Oscar Kightley, Robbie Magasiva and Iaheto Ah Hi, collectively known as the Naked Samoans, return to the stage to strip it all back and dive into their untold truths. In conversation with New Zealand’s sweetheart John Campbell, the celebrated group of Pacific storytellers share their collective struggles and successes. Sounds serious, but surely also full of laughs. How could it not be? This session is part of the Something Old, Something Niu series curated by Leki Jackson-Bourke.
JACK WEBSTER TE KAPENE THATCHER
BY THE STARS: JACK THATCHER
Tauranga-based storyteller, teacher and celestial navigator Jack Webster Te Kapene Thatcher is one of 10 master navigators profiled in Jeff Evans’ 2021 book Reawakened: Traditional Navigators of Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa. In this session, Thatcher presents a beginner’s guide to the artful science of oceanic wayfinding, honouring the great sailors of traditional Pacific navigation. Sure to be a crowd favourite, with something for everyone.
GRAND: NOELLE MCCARTHY
Broadcaster, writer and podcaster Noelle McCarthy’s memoir Grand was hands down the most hotly anticipated work of non-fiction for 2022, and arrived to stellar reviews and national applause. Rachael King put it best when she said, “You’d never wish material this good for a memoir on anyone. It’s complex, thrilling and raw.” Chaired by Emma Espiner, this is sure to be a cracking conversation. You might want to pack some tissues, just in case.
FESTIVAL SALON: MASON, ROSEN, SHIRE
Anyone on Tumblr circa 2011 will be familiar with Warsan Shire, a Somali-British poet and writer who draws on familial experiences to muse on intimacy, grief, Black identity and womanhood. And, if you weren’t a Tumblr gal, you may know Shire from her collaboration with Beyoncé on visual album Lemonade, where her prose was read throughout. Either way, know that Shire has an impressive CV and just released her first full-length poetry collection, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in her Head: Poems, described as “noisy life, fragrant life” — a vivid book that builds on the themes in her earlier work. See Shire alongside Meg Mason and Michael Rosen in a digital salon chaired by Paula Morris.
CHAPMAN, REILLY, MCINNES, BAD ART FRIENDS
THE BADDEST ART FRIEND
Did you read the New York Times’ ‘Bad Art Friend’ story and think, Maybe I’m a bad art friend? Maybe I’ve taken parts of other people’s lives and peppered it through my work? In this session curated by Rosabel Tan, Madeleine Chapman, editor of The Spinoff and author of books on Jacinda Ardern and Steven Adams, Rebecca K Reilly, winner of the 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards best debut novel Greta and Valdin, and Himali McInnes, author of essay collection The Unexpected Patient, explore their own boundaries on writing about other people’s lives — and maybe tell on themselves a little.
BY PETER WELLS, ADAPTED BY VICTOR RODGER
Hello Darkness is a theatrical meditation on life, death and the meaning of everything, crafted from the social media diaries and book penned by AWF’s very own founder, the late Peter Wells, during his treatment for prostate cancer. Bringing together playwright Victor Rodger, director Shane Bosher and actor Roy Ward, this international premiere is not to be missed.
ORWELL’S ROSES: REBECCA SOLNIT
Essayist and journalist Rebecca Solnit doesn’t need much of an introduction. But for those who aren’t non-fiction inclined, Solnit is the author of 20 titles including Men Explain Things to Me, Wanderlust, Recollections of My Non-Existence and, most recently, Orwell’s Roses. When she’s not writing books, she’s writing essays and features for the likes of The Guardian and The New Yorker. Solnit will be beaming in for this conversation chaired by Hannah August.