The Going West Books and Writers Festival

Wednesday 25 July 2012

The Going West Books and Writers Festival

The Going West Books and Writers Festival announces the 17th annual line-up of some of New Zealand’s finest poets, novelists, biographers, historians and thinkers. Expect serious discourse, tantalising readings and insights into the life and art of our much-loved authors, leavened with the absurd and the entertaining. Always Almost: Never Quite succinctly sums up the Going West weekend; wide-ranging, quirky, unexpected, intimate, challenging.

Confirmed writers are: Mirranda Burton, Sacha de Bazin, Mary Edmond-Paul, Marianne Elliott, Jacqueline Fahey, Paula Green, Tina Grenville, David Howard, Stephanie Johnson, Sid Marsh, Kirstine Moffat, Emily Perkins, Nalini Singh, Monty Soutar, CK Stead, Paul Thomas, Ian Wedde, Peter Wells, Dame Lesley Max, Lani Wendt Young and Tim Wilson. The writers will be chaired by a stellar selection of authoritative ‘experts’.

As a nod to lyricists, on Saturday evening 15 September, Chris Bourke will chair a session with Dave Dobbyn ‘The Song Goes On’ (and maybe sing a song), then Rick Bryant and The Windy City Strugglers take to the stage to perform ‘Snow on the Desert Road’.

Programme Director and GW Festival founder Murray Gray took a walk down memory lane. “The Going West Festival archive has been my area of research for the last few weeks. We have an amazing collection of all our programmes and promotional material since the first Going West in 1996 and a complete audio record of every session we presented over those sixteen years. Some of our most distinguished writers are recorded and sadly many of them have since died - Alister and Meg Campbell, Allen Curnow, JC Sturm, Margaret Mahy and Michael King - but they can still be heard at their peak, reading their work or talking about life and literature. The Waitakere Central Library will display this ephemera and the sound recordings throughout August so people can have the opportunity to hear these wonderful gems from the past and be inspired to come West for a great - and greatly diverse programme in the Books & Writers Weekend in September.”

The Going West Festival Books and Writers Festival 2012 features four other events:

THEATRE SEASON 'where we once belonged', 23-26 August, Glen Eden Playhouse: Dave Armstrong’s award-winning adaptation from Sia Figiel’s novel, performed by sixteen talented young Pasifika performers.

POETRY SLAM final, 8 September 6.30pm, Titirangi War Memorial Hall: Fantastic prizes of $1000 for 1st, $700 for 2nd and $500 for 3rd places with the opportunity to further perform at the NZ Poetry Slam.

THE BOOK MARKET, 8 September 10am-2pm, Titirangi War Memorial Hall: Books, great food, coffee, displays and demonstrations, with presentations on the latest in digital publishing. Free valuations from Bethunes at Webb’s Rare Books. - Free Entry.

STORYFEST, 22 September 10am-4pm, Kelston Community Centre: This year, Home is Where the Heart is the theme at this fun-filled, festive, and full-on family day of storytelling,performances, activities and displays for children. - Free entry.