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!
Chair: Featherston Booktown Trust
Programme of Events 2021
Credits in graphics (below): Photo of Selina Tusitala Marsh by Florence-Charvin. Photo of Renée by Claudia-Latisnere. Photo of John Daniell by Abigail-Dougherty. Photo of Carolyn DeCarlo by Tabitha Arthur. Photo of Emma Barnes by Russell Kleyn. Photo of Vincent O'Malley by Grant Maiden Photography. Photo of Madeleine Slavick by Yan Yan. Photos of Pip Adams, Rose Lu, Carl Shuker, Madison Hamill, Sam Duckor-Jones by Ebony Lamb. Illustrations by Michael Hight, Kimberley Andrews and Donovan Bixley.
Speed Date an Author South Wairarapa Year 6 to 8 Students
THURSDAY 6 MAY 2021, 9:30 AM – 1:00 PM, FREE, ANZAC HALL
Short on time but big on curiosity? We’ve gathered up some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s top creatives all in the same venue so that you can enjoy a super fun, super speedy morning filling up your brain with top tips and tricks. There’s something for everyone and you’ll get to experience them all, with mini workshops from poet Paula Green, illustrator Josh Morgan, author Maria Gill and broadcaster, journalist and podcast creator extraordinaire Noelle McCarthy! Not to be missed! Intermediate students from across the South Wairarapa will be transported to and from the Anzac Hall in Featherston for this event for free, thanks to the very generous sponsorship from Tranzit Coachlines. Thank you too to Trudy Sears of Reap Wairarapa for her help with organising this event and for REAP’s sponsorship support.
Slam Poets for 300 Wairarapa Students Years 8 to 13
FRIDAY 7 MAY 2021, 9:30 AM – 2:00 PM, FREE, KURANUI COLLEGE
A rousing session of slam poetry from some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most exciting slam poetry masters for 300 students from the Wairarapa colleges. SLAM poets, Te Kahu Rolleston, Jordan Hamel, Ben Brown, Tarns Hood and Rose Northey will perform their favourite poems and then break into smaller groups for workshopping how to write and how to deliver spoken word pieces. Students from across the Wairarapa will be transported to and from Kuranui College for this event for free, thanks to the very generous sponsorship from Tranzit Coachlines. Thank you too to Trudy Sears of Reap Wairarapa for her help with organising this event and for REAP’s sponsorship support. And a big shout out to Simon Fuller (Principal) and Kathryn Homes (Team Leader of English) at Kuranui College for their organisation, support and hosting of this fantastic event in their school.
Mophead Story Time With Selina Tusitala Marsh for Featherston Years 6 to 8
FRIDAY 7 MAY 2021, 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM, FREE, REMUTAKA ROOM, ST TERESA'S SCHOOL
An hour of storytelling with Selina Tusitala Marsh reading from her award-winning book, Mophead. Selina will read Mophead, talk about how she made it and will answer all your questions about the book. Write down your questions before hand and bring them along with you! Read NZ Te Pou Muramura’s Writers in Schools programme has been running for more than 40 years. It offers a unique opportunity to connect children with authors, inspiring thousands of young New Zealanders to develop a love of reading and storytelling. Featherston Booktown is very grateful to Read NZ Te Pou Muramura for their sponsorship support for this event and to St Teresa’s School for hosting Selina Tusitala Marsh.
Donovan Bixley for Kahutara and Pirinoa Years 6 to 8 Students and Art Students
FRIDAY 7 MAY 2021, 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM, FREE, KAHUTARA SCHOOL HALL
Donovan Bixley for Featherston Years 6 to 8 Students and Art Students
FRIDAY 7 MAY 2021, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM, FREE, FEATHERSTON SCHOOL HALL
When Donovan Bixley was little, he used to draw all the time. He wanted to be famous like some of his heroes who were illustrators. Because he wasn’t getting to draw the types of stories he really wanted to do, he started writing his own books. Let Donovan inspire you to follow your passion for drawing in this one hour event for school children. Read NZ Te Pou Muramura’s Writers in Schools programme has been running for more than 40 years. It offers a unique opportunity to connect children with authors, inspiring thousands of young New Zealanders to develop a love of reading and storytelling. Featherston Booktown is very grateful to Read NZ Te Pou Muramura for their sponsorship support for this event and to Kahutara School for hosting Donovan Bixley.
The Fish'n'Chip Supper
FRIDAY 7 MAY 2021, 6:00 PM – 9:30 PM, $40 & CASH BAR, ANZAC HALL
Gather for pre-supper drinks and enjoy the smooth sounds of Wellington band, Ida Lune, before tucking into gourmet fish and chips cooked to perfection on the spot. Ida Lune is made up of the incredible Anna Wooles, Deanne Krieg, and Rose Blake. Their three-part harmonies and interweaving melodies enhanced by layers of synths and strings are breath-taking, setting the mood for our celebration beautifully. Paora Ammunsen (Ngāti Kahungunu/Rangitāne) will welcome us to the Opening Night of our Festival and bless our meal. MC and Chair of Featherston Booktown, Peter Biggs will introduce our special guest speaker, New Zealand’s first Pasifika Poet Laureate (2017 -2019), Selina Tusitala Marsh, whose poetry and speaking style, accompanied by her distinctive ukulele playing, always breaks the usual boundaries. Selina’s name provides a clue to what lies in store – “Tusitala” is Tuvaluan for “storyteller”, so strap yourself in for a memorable evening of storytelling. Featherston Booktown is grateful to Creative New Zealand for supporting Friday night’s events.
Late Nite Lit: Show Ponies
FRIDAY 7 MAY 2021, 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM, $18 (DOOR SALES FOR STUDENTS & SENIORS $10, CASH BAR), KIWI HALL
Poetry is cool now. These poets have let it go to their heads. Freya Daly Sadgrove, Tayi Tibble, Rebecca Hawkes, Jackson Nieuwland, Anahera Gildea and Joy Holley are here to challenge everything you think you know about poetry readings. Bring your sequins and feather boas for an unforgettable night to round off your Featherston Booktown Friday. Jordan Hamel is the charismatic MC.
Who's on the Couch this Saturday?
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM, $15, KIWI HALL
Selina Tusitala Marsh is a force of nature in Aotearoa New Zealand’s literary landscape while Ben Brown is instrumental in encouraging us to read the words of often unheard voices. Both Selina and Ben have been chosen to give The Read NZ Te Pou Muramura Pānui (formerly the Book Council Lecture), which is a prominent part of the literary landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand. It provides an opportunity for one of our country’s leading writers to discuss an aspect of literature close to their heart. Selina and Ben will be in conversation with Featherston Booktown Chair and Read NZ Te Pou Muramura Chair, Peter Biggs, about two lives of ground-breaking literary achievement which, in every way, are “lived out loud”.
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM, $15, KIWI HALL
Join session chair, John Daniell (author of The Fixer), as he talks with the godfather of contemporary New Zealand crime writing, Paul Thomas, and Renée (The Wild Card), for clues on why crime writing is so popular in Aotearoa New Zealand now and how these authors fell into a life of crime.
"Life is a Zig Zag" - Journeys to Publication
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM, $15, THE JOY COWLEY ROOM AT THE ROYAL HOTEL
Emerging writers share their stories to publication. Rachel Kerr, author of Ockham-longlisted Victory Park, chose a traditional road to publication – doing a writing course and submitting to a publisher, while Lucy Revill (The Residents: Made in Wellington) wrote over 150 blogs and chose to self-publish. Philippa Cameron (A High Country Life) started by building a fanbase on Instagram, and then sought a publishing house to publish her book. Catherine Robertson (owner of Good Books bookshop and author of seven, six of which were #1 New Zealand bestselling novels) will explore the three authors’ routes to publication, their experiences and their tips for new writers coming through.
Bookbinding Workshop with Robyn Ramsden
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM, $30, ST TERESA’S SCHOOL
Robyn Ramsden will show you how to make a Nag Hammadi codex from the 4th Century. She has altered the design so that it is reusable, as the leather will last long after your notebook has filled up. You’ll go home with the written instructions so you will be able to make your own at home, at a later date.
Papermaking with Rob Kennedy
SATURDAY 8 & 9 MAY 2021, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM (DROP-IN) & 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM (WORKSHOP), KOHA (DROP-IN) & $20 (WORKSHOP), ST TERESA'S SCHOOL
Help us make the paper for next year’s Booktown visitor’s book! Enjoy learning about this ancient craft and see what paper made from New Zealand native plants looks like. Child-friendly and suitable for all ages and abilities; so, drop in and try your hand at papermaking!
Gavin Bishop Reads for Children
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM, FREE, FEATHERSTON LIBRARY
Beg, borrow or steal a mokopuna to bring to the Featherston Library this morning to listen to award-winning writer and illustrator, Gavin Bishop, reading from his many works of art. Gavin will also sign books, so please bring just your favourite one!
Do Artists' Morals Matter?
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 12 NOON – 1:00 PM, $15, KIWI HALL
“Cancel culture” has invaded the Aotearoa New Zealand literary and arts worlds – principally sparked off by the revelation, in The Spinoff, that in John Weir’s edition of James K Baxter’s letters the famous New Zealand poet admitted that he had raped his wife. This provoked outrage, including calls for Baxter’s legacy to be critically re-examined in light of the revelations. One academic has stated, "If I were a prospective graduate student now, I wouldn't go near [Baxter]. There are many other good writers to study who aren't tainted in this way." This session, chaired by broadcaster and polymath, Ian Fraser and featuring a feisty and opinionated panel – of writer and lawyer Bran Gnanalingam, senior North & South editor Madeleine Chapman and biologist Danyl Mclauchlan (Tranquillity and Ruin) will explore these questions and more. Expect sparks to fly and literary and artistic reputations to be ruthlessly reviewed.
Winning Writing The Case for Sports Literature
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 12 NOON – 1:00 PM, $15, THE JOY COWLEY ROOM, THE ROYAL HOTEL
New Zealand often leads the world in sport but lags near the back of the pack in writing about it. Or is the lag only in recognition? Our culture sees travel, romance, war, and children's writing as capable of literary excellence and worthy of academic study, but sports writing stays stuck in the back pages. Roger Robinson (When Running Made History), Suzanne McFadden (Striking Gold) and Keith Quinn (A Lucky Man) argue that New Zealanders can write as well about sport as they can practise it.
Books and Reading in the Age of the Podcast
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 12 NOON – 1:00 PM, $15, ST TERESA'S SCHOOL
A Listener article in November 2018 expressed concern that our all-encompassing digital culture and screen time are putting at risk “our aptitude for deep reading”. Chaired by Noelle McCarthy, this panel of passionate readers and futurists will debate our rapidly changing reading environment. The panel members include Adam Dudding and John Daniell, both authors and podcast writers, podcaster and Ockham award-winning author Pip Adam. Her novel Nothing to See has been shortlisted for the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction in this year’s Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
Albion Letterpress Printing Workshop on Saturday
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM & SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM, $40, MATERIALS PROVIDED, HERITAGE MUSEUM
Calling design and graphic artists - do you have a burning desire to see your poetry, haiku or a poster you’ve created in print? Then this workshop is the opportunity for you! Bring along your project and learn how to use a 190-year-old, free standing iron Albion letterpress under the tutelage of Graham Judd, a printer of long standing who learnt his craft at the Masterton Printing Company. Suitable for ages 15+ and limited to four people. Book early to secure your place! Over the weekend Graham will also display how the Albion press works outside the workshop times and you are welcome to drop in to observe and ask questions.
Storytelling at St John's
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM, FREE, ST JOHN’S CHURCH HALL
There is a wealth of stories to be told about our local environment in and around Pae Tū Mōkai /Featherston - stories rich in mythology, symbolism and history. Kaumātua Ra Smith (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa) will lead the line-up of storytellers for this event. Mona Williams, a storyteller of 50 years’ experience, will share her Caribbean-Jewish vivacity, songs, clapping, dance and tales from many lands. The afternoon kōrero will finish on a high note with Rachel McAlpine, author of the best-selling poetry collection How to Be Old, telling stories from her school days through to now - what it’s like being sassy and wise at 80!
Alexander Turnbull and the Book Collecting Game
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM, $15, ST TERESA’S SCHOOL
EVENT CANCELLED: Alexander Turnbull was an avid collector of New Zealand books and artifacts, purchasing items for his collection both from here and overseas. In 1918 he bequeathed his library and collections to the nation. The Turnbull Library opened its doors two years later and this year celebrates its centenary. Anthony Tedeschi, curator of Fine Books at the Turnbull Library, will talk on recently unearthed correspondence between Alexander Turnbull and some of his bookdealers, and will illustrate his talk with images of some of the purchases made. There will be time for questions.
My Kids Aren't Reading, What Should I Do?
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM, $15, FEATHERSTON LIBRARY
They have the concentration – we’ve seen them playing games on and off screens, yet they just won’t pick up a book... sounds familiar? Get some practical advice on how we get our kids to read from renowned author and illustrator Gavin Bishop who leads the discussion with Julia Marshall from Gecko Press, and our own Featherston authorities, Joy Cowley and librarian, Penny Griffin.
Author Spotlight: Renée
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM, $15, KIWI HALL
Renée (Ngāti Kahungunu) writes novels and plays that put women, Māori, and working-class people, centre stage, and only last year, aged 91, published her first crime novel. She will be in conversation with her publisher Mary McCallum about a life of writing and the new edition of her memoir These Two Hands.
A Demonstration of Letter Press Printing with Cheryl Gallaway
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM, KOHA, LOCO COFFEE AND BOOKS
Experience the letterpress printing process that has survived for centuries. Watch resident artist and designer Cheryl Gallaway demonstrate a tabletop printing press, then have a go yourself. This is a ‘hands on’ printing opportunity for all ages.
The Poetry Playground: Poetry Workshop for Children (for Ages 6 to 10)
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM, FREE, ST TERESA’S SCHOOL
Poetry is the best playground! Join Paula Green and play with how poems look and sound and feel. You will use your ears and eyes and imaginations to make words leap and slither and dance. Places available for twenty budding poets, so get your tickets quick! Limited to 20 children
Author Spotlight: Rose Lu
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM, $15, THE JOY COWLEY ROOM AT THE ROYAL HOTEL
This is your chance to get up close and personal with Rose Lu, author of the highly acclaimed debut essay collection, All Who Live on Islands. Rose will be in conversation with avid reader, Catriona Ferguson in a wide ranging discussion that includes the way relationships change with age, the idiosyncrasies of family dynamics and very bad high school sex.
Cut and Paste Workshop for Children Zine Fest at Featherston Booktown
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM, FREE, FEATHERSTON SCHOOL HALL
If your child is old enough to wield a pair of scissors and imaginative enough to make a wee book, bring them along to the Zine Mini-fest and we’ll hang out! Wellington Zinefest will provide the resources for your mini authors and illustrators and each child can leave with a small zine and a passion for self-publishing.
Stories for Short Attention Spans
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM, $15, KIWI HALL
Let’s celebrate our New Zealand writers who are capable of making large existential points in a shorter written form. Literary descendants of Katherine Mansfield, perhaps? With Ashleigh Young, Noelle McCarthy, Carl Shuker and Madison Hamill, moderated by John Campbell.
Coffee with Kate
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM, $15, THE JOY COWLEY ROOM, THE ROYAL HOTEL
Kate Mead - owner of the popular bookstore, Loco Coffee and Books in Featherston - was the first-ever Festival Director of Featherston Booktown and ran the first three festivals voluntarily while holding down a full-time job. Originally from the UK, Kate trained as a cellist and worked for many years at RNZ before leaving her music career to run her bookshop - which has since become a vital and vibrant part of the community. Kate chats with Peter Biggs, the Chair of Featherston Booktown Board of Trustees - and a regular Loco customer, about the ups and downs, and ins and outs, of running a second-hand bookshop in a small rural village. Kate will be leaving us soon to move with her husband, Ross, to Waihi - so, we’ve asked the other six Featherston Booksellers to set the questions for this beguiling conversation.
Donovan Bixley - Illustrator and Storyteller
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM, FREE, FEATHERSTON LIBRARY
A family-friendly treat for all including wee ones from age three upwards! Extraordinary children’s writer and illustrator Donovan Bixley will talk on his popular Flying Furballs and Māui series and what it takes to illustrate award-winning books.
New Zealand Hidden Gems: Jane Mander
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM, $15, THE JOY COWLEY ROOM, THE ROYAL HOTEL
According to Lydia Wevers, Jane Mander is best known for her 1920 novel The Story of a New Zealand River, widely thought to be the underlying narrative for Jane Campion’s The Piano. She published six novels in the 1920s when she was in her thirties which, like her, travelled through New Zealand colonial landscapes to New York and London. The daughter of an MP, sawmiller and newspaper owner, she became the editor of the Dargaville Times before leaving for Sydney in 1910 where she worked as a journalist and then New York two years later to study at Columbia. Mander was a suffragette and a free thinker and wrote against New Zealand’s prevailing puritanism and repressive female culture. Her novels reflect the life she probably wanted to live.
Hear Me Roar
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM, $15, THE JOY COWLEY ROOM, THE ROYAL HOTEL
There are voices that are loud and getting louder in Aotearoa’s poetry scene. The poets in Hear Me Roar will deliver provocative and laugh-out-loud takes on sex, race, rage, age, love, loss, pop culture, mental health, nature, work and home. Hear Me Roar celebrates poetry by those who won’t be ignored. Get ready for a little truth-telling from Caro DeCarlo, Emma Barnes, Vana Manasiadis, Rachel McAlpine and Helen Rickerby.
The Lyre of Orpheus
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 6:45 PM – 7:30 PM, $15 & CASH BAR, DOOR SALES FOR STUDENTS AND SENIORS $10, THE LOFT, TARUREKA ESTATE
Since Orpheus first picked up his lyre, people have been writing songs and poems of love and death. Poet Chris Price and guitarist Robbie Duncan perform a mix of original poems and songs by (or about) other poets that revolve around those twin poles.
Mr Sold's True Stories Told Live: Locked In/Lockdown
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM, $35, UPSTAIRS AT THE LOFT, TARUREKA ESTATE
Story telling on the edge - six of New Zealand’s top story tellers will articulate without notes or props, what Locked in/Lockdown means to them. Gavin Bishop (children’s book author and illustrator); Ra Smith (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa); Mona Williams (Guyanan storyteller, children's writer and educator); poets Ben Brown and Anahera Gildea, and the inimitable Renée, introduced by John Campbell. True Stories are intense, raw and original, filled with plot, pace, adventure and humour. This event is proudly sponsored by Mr Sold of Ray White Real Estate in Featherston.
Late Nite Lit: The Poetry Collision
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 10:00 PM – LATE, $15, DOWNSTAIRS AT THE LOFT, TARUREKA ESTATE
Continuing our series of Late Nite Lit events, emerging poets Mike Fitzsimons, Tim Grgec, Tayi Tibble and Sam Duckor-Jones will square off against more established Aotearoa poets Paula Green; New Zealand’s first Pasifika Poet Laureate, Selina Tusitala Marsh; and Rachel McAlpine in a poetry collision. If the event runs to schedule and there aren’t prone bodies all over the stage, MC Mary McCallum will invite members of the audience to take the mic. Poetry Collision is supported by Creative New Zealand.
Who's on the Couch on Sunday?
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM, $15, KIWI HALL
At 83, Vincent O’Sullivan is not slowing down. Peter Biggs, chair of Featherston Booktown, will be in conversation with Vincent about his recent prodigious output: his latest book of poetry, Things OK with you? and an Ockham shortlisted book that unpicks the life and times of artist Ralph Hotere.
Toy Puppy Dog Picnic with Baz Macdonald
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 9:15 AM – 9:45 PM, FREE, FEATHERSTON LIBRARY
Join loved Wellington storyteller Baz Macdonald, and his dog Honey, for a puppy dog picnic and Storytime – a morning full of stories with and about our adorable, funny, and lovable canine friends. Bring your favourite soft toy puppy dog and a picnic snack and snuggle in with your special person for 45 minutes of story time. The Featherston librarians will spread the picnic rugs!
Finding the Joy: Poetry Workshop
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM, $20, ST TERESA’S SCHOOL
Poets and publishers, Michael Fitzsimons and Mary McCallum, present a poetry workshop designed to help you write from a perspective of delight, and approach even the most difficult material with an eye for elements that are uplifting and even joyful.
Te Aka ki Hato Pāora Launch
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM, FREE, FEATHERSTON BOWLING CLUB
Late in 2020, nine young men from Hato Pāora College in Fielding came together with six indigenous writers from the Pacific for three creative writing wānanga, culminating in the publication of an inspiring book of poetry, story, and illustration. Always sincere, sometimes humorous, often conflicted, and most importantly, spoken from the heart. The launch of this inaugural edition of Te Aka ki Hato Pāora is a rare opportunity to witness a new generation of Māori voices as they take their place in the literary landscape of Aotearoa New Zealand. This project was brought to life in collaboration with multiple partners including Te Whē, Read NZ Te Pou Muramura, TOI Māori, IIML, and Te Herenga Waka. The students and kaiako of Hato Pāora invite you to come and share in this celebratory moment. Prepare to be moved as you listen to readings from this ground-breaking bilingual collection!
The Relevance of the Treaty in 2021
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM, $15, KIWI HALL
Colin James will explore two new books related to the Treaty of Waitangi with their authors. One is Claudia Orange's extensively updated and illustrated acclaimed seminal history of the Treaty, first published in 1987: The Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi. An Illustrated History. The other is former Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson's account of the settlement process and outcomes, He Kupu Taurangi: Treaty Settlements and the future of Aotearoa New Zealand. Academic historian Te Maire Tau of Ngai Tahu will comment on the books and the future of the Treaty/Te Tiriti in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2021.
The Influence of Place
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM, $15, THE JOY COWLEY ROOM, THE ROYAL HOTEL
Wairarapa Word and Featherston Booktown present Wairarapa-based writers who have previously lived and written overseas. Madeleine Slavick (Hong Kong, USA), Catherine Cooper (Canada, Czech Republic, Sierra Leone), Lilla Csorgo (Canada, Hong Kong, Hungary) and moderator Steve Laurence (Almo’s Books) will discuss whether/how their writing is affected by place, landscape, language and culture. Panellists will read aloud two pieces of their writing – one that speaks to Wairarapa, and the other to elsewhere – and will discuss their multi-cultural identities here in Aotearoa.
Hound the Detective Spies a New Book
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM, FREE, FEATHERSTON LIBRARY
Kimberly Andrews, the author of award-winning Puffin the Architect, Hound the Detective and the latest book in the series due out in June, will read from her books and talk about the creative process of writing and illustrating picture books. She will be happy to answer questions you may have, as well as sign her books for you. Kimberly will also give us a sneak peek at the new book in the series! (Clue: he can fly but he doesn't have feathers...)
Write to the Centre: Journal-Keeping for Self-Reflection with Helen Lehndorf
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, $20, MATERIALS INCLUDED, FEATHERSTON SCHOOL HALL
Get a taste of creative journaling for reflection and inspiration. You'll do some personal writing and simple collage exercises, and Helen Lehndorf will share some of her ideas about getting your journal practice started or refreshed. This will be a relaxed and rich session for anyone who wants to tap into their inner-wisdom more and find inspiration wherever they go! The class is open to a maximum of 15 people, so book early to avoid disappointment.
I've Been Called Lippy: Te Whe
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 12 NOON – 1:00 PM, $15, KIWI HALL
Two generations of outspoken Māori women reflect on the politics, art and science of telling their truths. Join four outspoken Māori women – Renée, Anahera Gildea, Arihia Latham and Nadine Anne Hura – for an entertaining and intergenerational discussion about the many and varied guises of opinion writing, from the humble blog to the Stuff column to book reviews and everything in between.
David Riley Book Launch Joy Cowley
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 12 NOON – 1:00 PM, FREE, THE JOY COWLEY ROOM, THE ROYAL HOTEL
Join us as we launch David Riley’s latest biography in his Wāhine Toa series about inspiring New Zealand women. The subject of this book is someone very dear to Featherston Booktown’s heart, our patron, Joy Cowley. David and Joy will be in conversation about how the book came about, the highlights along the way to publication and why the Wāhine Toa is an important series for young people. David, who self-published this book on Joy, will have copies available to buy and he and Joy will sign your book at the end of the conversation.
So, You Want to Self-Publish?
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 12 NOON – 1:00 PM, $15, FEATHERSTON BOWLING CLUB
If you’re a writer, burning with a desire to get published, then self-publishing could be the way to go. This session will explore the pros and cons of self-publishing along with handy tips on how to do it well – including pitfalls to avoid. Chair, Dave McManus of Copy Press in Nelson, a self-publishing house of 25 years standing, will draw out words of wisdom and warning from a panel of experienced writers Leeanna Morgan, Helen Vivienne Fletcher and Noel Shepherd, who have made the decision to self-publish. This event is supported by Creative New Zealand.
The Bomb and Its Creators
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 12 NOON – 1:00 PM, FREE, FEATHERSTON LIBRARY
Bring the whānau and learn the secrets behind the creation of the multi award-winning picture book The Bomb. Join picture book making team, author Sacha Cotter and illustrator Josh Morgan for a fun filled hour of storytelling, music, fascinating 'behind-the-scenes' facts and an activity to unleash your imagination designing your own slapping, dripping, soaking, sky-scraping SPLASH!!
Living Happily Ever After: The Business of Romance Writing With Leeanna Morgan
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM, $15, FEATHERSTON BOWLING CLUB
A must do hour for all writers! Whether you're thinking about writing a novel or are already published, Leeanna Morgan will discuss what it means to be an author in the twenty-first century. Leeanna is a USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romances set in Montana. Using the romance genre as the basis for this engaging session, we will look at the challenges and opportunities Leeanna has experienced in her career and consider what this means for your writing journey.
Spoken Word Workshop with Te Kahu Rolleston (Kai Afterwards)
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM, FREE, ST JOHN’S CHURCH HALL
Māori poet, actor and slam poet award winner Te Kahu Rolleston returns to Featherston Booktown because he is so well loved here! In his poetry, Te Kahu speaks to what it means to be Māori, combining mythology, history and modern politics choosing to educate and inspire his audience. Te Kahu says “there are a lot of people who think that poetry is soft but once they see my poetry, they realise that’s not always the case and you see the shift from ‘not interested’ to ‘I want to do that’ almost immediately.” In this workshop, held at the St John’s Church hall, Te Kahu will teach young and old methods to realise their poetic vision. Workshop participants will enjoy free kai at the end. Thanks to our funding partners, the workshop and kai are free, but for catering purposes, you must book your ticket online to be sure of a place and kai.
Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2021 – Our Picks and Previews
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM, $15, KIWI HALL
Held the week after Featherston Booktown each year, the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards celebrate the best of Aotearoa New Zealand writing and writers. Created in 1996 the Awards recognise the year’s best fiction, poetry, non-fiction, illustrated non-fiction and Māori language books. There are also four Best First Book awards. Beginning with a long list of forty titles, the judges face the difficult task of pronouncing this country’s best books in each of the categories. Join session chair Catriona Ferguson, writer and illustrator Gavin Bishop, poet Paula Green, and the New Zealand fiction buyer for Unity Wellington, Marion Castree. This will be an illuminating guide to your book-buying and reading list – and a handy short-cut to gift giving this year! Proudly supported by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust.
Let There Be Heroes
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM, $15, THE JOY COWLEY ROOM, THE ROYAL HOTEL
Rajorshi Chakraborti (Shakti) and Rachel Kerr (Victory Park) talk to Mary McCallum about two critically acclaimed novels where ordinary people show humanity and quiet heroism in a world gone awry. In Shakti three Indian women find themselves wielding powers that match their wildest dreams and in Victory Park a solo mum's life is turned upside down when a privileged neighbour moves in to the council flats where she lives.
Marvellous Crafts with Fifi Colston
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM, FREE, ST TERESA’S SCHOOL
Hatch your own Marvellous Marvin, with craft Queen and picture book illustrator, Fifi Colston. Make cute pop up cards for family and friends that they will adore! All materials supplied, and suitable for all ages.
Author Spotlight: Nadine Anne Hura
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM, $15, ST TERESA'S SCHOOL
Nadine Anne Hura is a creative non-fiction writer and poet of Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi, and Pākehā whakapapa. Her essays explore themes of language, biculturalism, identity, and belonging and have appeared in e-Tangata, The Spinoff, and Te Whē. She is a member of the board of Te Hā o Ngā Pou Kaituhi Māori and is a passionate advocate for new and emerging Māori writers. Join Nadine and Featherston Booktown trustee, Liz Mellish (Te Ātiawa, Taranaki, Ngāti Ruanui) in a wide ranging conversation entitled On the Same Page: the art and politics of finding shared meaning in Aotearoa New Zealand. Nadine and Liz will discuss the challenges and rewards of working, communicating and writing in a bicultural world.
Zine Your Words Workshop for 8 to 80 Year Olds
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM, FREE, FEATHERSTON SCHOOL HALL
Wellington Zinefest present a hands-on workshop about zines (pronounced zeens). This workshop is for 8 to 80-year-olds and will cover some history of zines, zine techniques and starting your very own zine to take away. If you are interested in DIY projects, self-publishing and free form expression this is the workshop for you. Please bring along a short poem or other piece of writing to kick off your process, but you are also very welcome to attend empty handed and we will help you out with inspiration.
Joy Cowley Reading at the Chicken and Frog Bookshop
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM, FREE, CHICKEN & FROG BOOKSHOP
Drop in for a magic moment or two as Featherston Booktown’s beloved Patron, Joy Cowley, reads to our rangatahi/children at the Chicken & Frog Bookshop. Joy will also sign books, so bring your favourite book along! (In the interests of fairness - just one book per child, please).
Find Your Place: Palliser Estate Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM, $45, THE LOFT, TARUREKA ESTATE
Lucky Rajorshi Chakraborti moderating Nicky Pellegrino (and her dreams of Italy), Wellington writer Rose Lu (author of All Who Live on Islands); Shona Riddell (Guiding Lights about women who run lighthouses) and instagrammer Whats_for_Smoko and author of A High-Country Life, Philippa Cameron, as they explain how they found their place in a writer’s life. Treat your mother, your aunt, your daughter and yourself to an old-fashioned, butter-rich home baked afternoon tea, generously organised and presented by Featherston Booktown volunteers. It’s the perfect way to while away a relaxing Mother’s Day afternoon. This event, kindly sponsored by Palliser Estate Winery, sells out quickly, so don’t delay - book your tickets!
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM, $15, KIWI HALL
Who is John Mulgan and why is his book Man Alone so important in the New Zealand literary cannon? Join moderator, Peter Biggs, in a discussion with biographers Vincent O’Sullivan, Long Journey to the Border. A Life of John Mulgan, Noel Shepherd (Mulgan) and Peter Whiteford, whose new edition of the book has just been published. Almost all copies of the first edition of Man Alone, published in England in 1939, were destroyed in the Blitz. When it was republished in New Zealand in 1949, after the author’s suicide in Cairo in 1945, the publisher Paul’s Book Arcade made a number of changes for unknown reasons. Peter Whiteford’s edition restores John Mulgan’s original text for the first time.
Zappo the Magician
SUNDAY 9 MAY 2021, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM, FREE, FEATHERSTON BOWLING CLUB
Zappo the Magician is really looking forward to performing at Booktown 2021. Reading is "Magical" and Zappo has some amazing Tricks up his sleeve to show you and a fun Magical Game called The Great Book Race. Find out more about Zappo at www.zappoland.co.nz
Sponsors, Partners, Patrons, Friends and Supporters 2021
Key Partners 2021
Friends of Featherston Booktown 2020 & 2021
Ali Ward of Rawdons
Andrew Morrison and Deborah Barratt
Anne Hannah & Darrin Goulding
Anne Hynds and Derek McCluskie
Bobby-Joe Wilson and Brian King
Christine and David Kernohan
David & Jenny Hedley - Hedley’s Bookshop
Don and Carol Duffy
Elizabeth Patchett & John Taber
Ella & Felix Hallwass
Emma McCleary of Emma Makes
Ernst & Virginia Kunz – Underhill Cottage
Garrick Emms & Marguerite Tait-Jamieson
Gerald Hensley CNZM
Graham & Liz Mellish MNZM
GJ & R Burnard
JL & LJ Adler
Joanna and Julian Ludbrook
Jules Le Loir
Karen Commons of The Le Vailla
Leigh Catley and Stephen Morris
Lydia Wevers ONZM
Margie and Fraser Donald
Millie Blackwell of Mrs Blackwell’s Village Bookshop
Paul & Mary Mason
Richard and Sue Byrne
Russell & Suzann Pearless
Scilla Askew and Robert
Susan Ryan of Mr Feather’s Den
Te Maire Tau
...and a sincere thank you to our many presenters, volunteers
and book-loving Featherston Community for their ongoing support!