Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festival 2021

A Warm Welcome
from the Chair

Kia ora tātou,


It’s with a great sense of excitement that I welcome you to the sixth Featherston Booktown Festival - and to Featherston/Paetumokai.


This year, we are offering 55 events and hosting 99 presenters and literary provocateurs, along with 23 booksellers.  


Featherston Booktown belongs to the people of the Featherston community, many of whom generously volunteer their time and talents to ensure the Festival’s success.


But it also belongs to all those who love books, writing and ideas - and who take delight in the artefact and craft of the book, whether it be by offering books for sale or  publishing, editing and making them - or through exploring the tables and shelves of booksellers and bookshops in search of that fugitive tome.


This year’s Festival programme offers a mix of new initiatives and established audience favourites.


The new initiatives include:


  • A  programme for Schools in the days leading up to the Festival – Speed Date an Author, Storytime with Selina Tusitala Marsh and Donovan Bixley and Slam Poetry at Kuranui College for senior students.

  • This year we have formed a partnership with Wai Word to bring Wairarapa writers to the Festival and they will talk about the influence of place on their writing.

The genesis of these innovations is the strategic goal of Featherston Booktown to be more than simply an annual festival - but to be a nationally significant literary development organisation.

You’ll see that, by popular demand, our programme includes those events which, over the past years, have made Featherston Booktown a compelling destination - but, this year, we’ve tried, as always, to change things up and keep things fresh.


Over the three days of the Festival, we offer adventures through books, book-shaping, stories and ideas, including Māori kai, home-baking, locally made cheese and Country tea and cakes.


A warm welcome to our booksellers, many who have supported us since the beginning of Featherston Booktown and some who are new this year.  We also welcome a number of self-publishers who will be selling their books with the booksellers in the Anzac Hall.


I’d like to thank our sponsors and donors - Featherston Booktown couldn’t happen without your generous support. A special welcome to our newest sponsor, Mr Sold.


Finally, I’d like to thank my fellow indefatigable Featherston Booktown Trustees - Liz Mellish, Noelle McCarthy, Kate Mead, Mary McCallum, Lesley Christian, Cheryl Gallaway and Ross Vickery - along with our Patron, Joy Cowley, and Founding Kaumatua, Lincoln Gould. 


A thousand thanks to Operations Manager, Mary Biggs, and her wonderful team, including our outstanding volunteers.


Enjoy Featherston Booktown 2021! Ha waahi nui! Manuia!


Peter Biggs

Chair: Featherston Booktown Trust

© 2021 Featherston Booktown Trust, New Zealand Charity Registration Number CC52369

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