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New Zealand's biggest literature festival launches 2012 programme

20 Mar 2012

This content is tagged as Literature .


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Auckland Writers and Readers Festival has announced its full May 2012 line‐up of more than 100 leading international and New Zealand writers and thinkers, including prizewinners Jeffrey Eugenides and RoddyDoyle; 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 09‐13 May in the heart of Auckland, and combining a dedicated two‐day 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 line‐up 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.


Twenty‐three 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 fictionauthors Sebastian Barry (Ire), Jesmyn Ward (US), Charlotte Wood (UK) and A.D. Miller (UK); Australian divaKathy Lette, cosmologist and public intellectual Lawrence Krauss (US); Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings;biographer Caroline Moorehead, international economy consultant Chandran Nair, educational psychologistBarbara Arrowsmith Young (Can), evolution theorist Danny Vendramini (Aus) and essayists Geoff Dyer (UK) andMartin 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 SlamChampion Luka Lesson (Aus) who will light up the stage.


The distinguished New Zealand line‐up is headlined by a rare appearance with much‐loved Maurice Gee, the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival’s inaugural Honoured New Zealand Writer. Free tickets to this session can be booked for under‐18s.  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 StellaRimington at Soul Bar, a pre‐Mothers’ 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 www.buytickets.co.nz

All biography and session information can be found online