My WORD – Donna’s WORD Christchurch picks

WORD Christchurch Spring Festival is ON! HUZZAH! Here is a selection of my picks and tips.

You're not too late - make this your weekend of WORD

Don't kick yourself for missing out. Hop on to the WORD Christchurch Spring Festival website and get booking. There is an astonishing amount of stuff that is FREE.

Go to an event, if you'd read the book - or not

One of the joys of WORD Christchurch is any event you land at is going to be a goodie. You don't have to know the author - or even have read the book. Trust WORD. Programme director Rachael King has done the hard yards and picked the most buzzy, relevant, and interesting people and topics to stimulate your brains, tickle your funny bones, and / or open your heart.

Shout outs to guest programmer Ray Shipley and Youth and Community Coordinator Sionainn Byrnes for their roles in helping curate the coolest festival around.

Buy a book!

You might not have read the book, but after you've been to an event you are likely to want to? What are you doing to do about that? Well, us at Christchurch City Libraries, can help you with that. But also BUY A BOOK/S.

University Book Shop

The University Book Shop's Pene Whitty and her amazing team are at WORD to ensure you can buy the books that you will want to get your hands on after going to the sessions. Sometimes there are other book-related goodies on offer, I brought a pair of rainbow library card socks at the last WORD Fest.

UBS Books at WORD Christchurch Festival 2018. Flickr 2018-09-02-IMG_0301
UBS Books at WORD Christchurch Festival 2018. Flickr 2018-09-02-IMG_0301

Best Books, outside The Last Word - Saturday 31 October 12pm to 2pm

If choice old books is your bag, Best Books will be in New Regent Street, outside The Last Word on Saturday 12pm to 2pm. All books $4, please bring cash (Follow Best Books on Facebook).

Best Books sale
Best Books sale. WORD Christchurch Festival 2018. Flickr 2018-09-01-IMG_0248

Have a read of What Rachael King of WORD Christchurch is into right now in Ensemble for fab reading picks.

Five Picks

Here are five events I'm looking forward to:

Saturday 31 October Public Knowledge 12noon to 1pm - TSB Space, Tūranga

CoverI love the mahi of Freerange Press. They publish books that are thoughtful, challenging, and topical. This session looks at the crisis in public knowledge and democracy.  Journalist Sally Blundell, Member of Parliament  Golriz Ghahraman, and researcher Sacha McMeeking are all contributors in Freerange Press’s Public Knowledge – and they will discuss future challenges, the state of our public knowledge, the implications for democracy and what we can do better.

Saturday 31 October Finding a Place 3pm to 4pm - TSB Space, Tūranga

Ghazaleh Golbakhsh (writer and filmmaker) and Golriz Ghahraman (human rights lawyer and now MP) talk to Christchurch commentator and columnist Donna Miles-Mojab about breaking barriers, dealing with prejudice, and finding a place to belong.


Saturday 31 October New Regent St Pop Up Festival 6pm to 7.30pm

Here are WORD's descriptions of the pop up festival sessions. What a lineup! Dash from place to place and taste it all, or settle in to a couple of spots.

FIKA Writers at Fiksate Gallery

FIKA Writers is a collective of Ōtautahi-Christchurch Pasifika creatives. FIKA meets regularly to give energy to the practice of storytelling through writing, poetry, prose, and performance ... Featuring Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna’i (emcee), Morghan Ariki Bradshaw, Sarah Maindonald, Jess Marama, Ana Mulipola, Stephanie Oberg, Danielle O’Halloran-Thyne, Isla Reeves, Dietrich John Soakai, and Siobhan Kahu Tumai.

Metamorphoses at Youngs Jewellers

In this spooky special (it’s Halloween, after all), local and national writers come together to share their stories of body horror. Featuring Erin Harrington (emcee), Laura Borrowdale, Jess Fiebig, Rebecca Nash, essa may ranapiri, and Freya Daly Sadgrove.


Cold Hub Connections at Twenty-Seven Steps

Cold Hub Press, a small press based in Lyttelton, specialises in publishing Aotearoa-New Zealand poets, as well as international poetry in bilingual editions, with a particular focus on Latin-American poets ... Featuring Roger Hickin (emcee), John Allison, Victoria Broome, and Wayne Seyb, and renditions of works by Ernesto Cardenal, Blanca Castellón, Dan Davin, Ruth France, R. A. K. Mason, Joaquín Pasos, and Carlos Martínez Rivas.


Canterbury Poets Collective at Café Stir

Since its inception over thirty years ago, the Canterbury Poets Collective has fostered the poetry scene in Ōtautahi-Christchurch ... Featuring John Allison (emcee), David Gregory (emcee), Marisa Cappetta, Jeni Curtis, David Eggleton, Bernadette Hall, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, Helen Mongillo, James Norcliffe, and Annabel Wilson.


The Meaning of Life at The Institution

Some times are mundane, other times are strange and unprecedented, sometimes things are less clear-cut. In this life-writing special, local and national writers reflect on all things life as they know it. Featuring Mary McCallum (emcee), Caroline Barron, Lil O’Brien, Eamonn Marra, Rebecca Nash, Rebecca Priestley, Renée and Sandra Arnold.


Catalyst 17 Launch at The Last Word

Catalyst is a literary arts journal edited by Doc Drumheller and published by the Republic of Oma Rāpeti Press. The journal is now enjoying its seventeenth year of publishing and has gained a reputation as being one of the most daring and innovative journals in Aotearoa-New Zealand. Featuring Doc Drumheller (emcee), Ciarán Fox, Bernadette Hall, Erik Kennedy, Melanie McKerchar, and Annabel Wilson.


Monsters in the Garden at Rollickin’ Gelato

CoverThis otherworldly special celebrates the publication of Monsters in the Garden: An Anthology of Aotearoa-New Zealand Science Fiction and Fantasy and other works by local sci-fi and fantasy writers. Featuring Elizabeth Knox (emcee), Pip Adam, Octavia Cade, A. J. Fitzwater, Nod Ghosh, Owen Marshall, and Kirsten McDougall.

Monsters in the Garden: An Anthology of Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction and Fantasy

Pics from the 2018 pop up.

Sunday 1 November Pip Adam 10.30am to 11.30am - TSB Space, Tūranga

I read and loved Nothing to See. If I were to wordcloud it, it'd be:
op shop hunger bodies mystery sci-fi quiche sobriety division austerity time

Pip Adam discusses her work, and her unique world view, with fellow novelist Carl Shuker.

Nothing to See

Sunday 1 November For You(th) 1pm to 3pm, Tūranga

This session gives young people a chance to make stuff themselves.

The WORD Christchurch Youth Jury, with support from our own Tūranga youth librarian team, have devised a wonderful afternoon of activities by and for rangatahi. Featuring workshops on creative writing with Karen Healey, illustration demonstrations with Kay O’Neill, games, zine-making, and a relaxed space.


Zine workshop, Tūranga. Flickr 2020-09-26-zine-workshop-3
Zine workshop, Tūranga. Flickr 2020-09-26-zine-workshop-3

For more picks, read Moata's Festival picks. I concur with her most excellent selections.

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