Save the Dates: 5–8 May 2022
Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festival 2022


Lydia Wevers ONZM (19 March 1950 – 4 September 2021)


We are very sad to share the news that Lydia Wevers, one of our favourite and most generous presenters at many of our Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festivals, has died.

People loved coming to listen to Lydia talk about famous and hugely popular New Zealand writers from last century, who are not so well known today – such as Jane Mander, Mary Scott and Angela Thirkell. In the days leading up to this year’s Karukatea Festival, Guy Somerset, the former books and culture editor of the New Zealand Listener, interviewed Lydia about her life in art. Listening to this interview will be some of the bests minutes you will spend and you will realise why Lydia was so well loved and will be so missed.

Comic Books
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Huihuinga Kaimahi - Postponed


Well, we got what we hoped for – we are back in level two for this event, but level two – Delta one has a sting in its tale!  A smaller gathering of no more than 50 people, masked and socially distanced is not quite the environment conducive to having a good catch up with our volunteers and supporters in. So, alas, the Huihuinga Kaimahi, scheduled for this Sunday morning,12 September at 10:00 am – 12:00 noon in the Kiwi Hall has been postponed until later in the year – November hopefully – when we are able to meet in person in level one.

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National Poetry Day

Featherston Booktown has celebrated National Poetry Day 2021 by listening to three stand-out poets, who have recently published new works, via a live stream on our social media channels - a first for Featherston Booktown. 


Sam Duckor-Jones read from his latest book, Party Legend, Tim Grgec from All Tito’s Children, and Featherston’s very own poet, Vivienne Plumb, from her new chapbook of poems, Lotus.  As a special treat, Sam read his poem based on, Allemande in G by J.S. Bach after it was played live by NZSO cellist, Ken Ichinose.


Thank you to the great many who turned up 'digitally' to celebrate National Poetry Day with us and enjoy some of Aotearoa's brightest and best Poets.

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Stacked Books

Booktown Comics!
Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festival 2021 - in comic format! By the wonderfully talented Tara Black.

Recent News
What's a Booktown?​

Booktowns are an international phenomenon, celebrating books, from their stories through to their paper, glue and ink.


Featherston is now a fully-fledged, internationally recognised Booktown.

Featherston Booktown Karukatea

Two cultures share our wonderful country – and region – and, at Featherston Booktown, we seek to recognise and bring that to life. After consulting Mana Whenua, we are proud to reveal the Te Reo expression of Featherston Booktown.


Karukatea means “the clear and observant eye” – with karu the word for “eye” and katea meaning “clarity”. The word takes in the narrative of our region (Wairarapa Moana being one eye of the fish and Wellington Harbour being the other eye of Māui’s fish). On a deeper level, the word also captures the concept of people seeking knowledge and clarity.

Our sincere thanks to Liz Mellish and Robin Potangaroa (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa) for their help and guidance through the process of finding an appropriate Te Reo expression of Featherston Booktown.

Readers at Featherston Booktown - Photo Credit
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