Poet Kaveh Akbar is no sheep in wolf’s clothing – WORD Christchurch

Kaveh Akbar is more of a shepherd than a wolf. The internationally acclaimed Iranian-American poet not only produces amazing thought-provoking poetry, but nurtures other poets to achieve their full potential too. So it was a perfect date for us to be hosting him at Tūranga, the flagship of the future. We are all about helping our…
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Vulnerability and advocacy at WORD Christchurch Festival

Once again, WORD Christchurch was fabulous. All the session I went to were thoroughly interesting and enjoyable, and reading all the fabulous write ups of other sessions caused some serious past-tense FOMO. My holds list has also got rather long... However, I've also been thinking about some of the connections between different sessions. One very…
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Melting the canon – Explosive Archaeology: WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

This fantastic session included no stripey jumpers or whips or trowels - the archaeology was metaphorical, asking us to look back, elevate, uncover and dig up those who have been excluded from the literary canon. Poet Tayi Tibble, academic Erin Harrington, novelist Brannavan Gnanalingam and curator Jennifer Shields were asked by session chair Pantograph Punch…
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Adventurous Women: WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

Broadcaster and writer Miriama Kamo introduced the lineup for WORD Christchurch's final session by prefacing with a definition of the topic: adventure (n.) a wild and exciting undertaking (not necessarily lawful) All four women featured fully fit the description, from extreme endurance to joyous risk-taking while travelling. The only thing I have in common with these…
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Hollie McNish and Hera Lindsay Bird – Poetry Stars: WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

Kate Sylvester introduced the two poets and her assertion that poets were the antidote to a world out of kilter brought rousing applause. It's not an easy thing to report on a poetry reading. You listen with different ears to poetry than you would to a speaker. Being tagged with the epithet "poetry stars", might…
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The Body is not an Apology – Sonya Renee Taylor: WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

Poet and playwright Tusiata Avia, introduced Sonya Renee Taylor, the founder of The Body Is Not An Apology, and informed us that they had fourteen years of friendship. The Body Is Not An Apology is an ideal and now also a global business committed to radical self-love and global transformation. If I could only write…
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