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Featherston Booktown
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Featherston Booktown is back!

Having been forced to postpone the Featherston Booktown Karukatea 2020 Festival in May, Featherston Booktown is returning with a roar, with a series of LIVE drawcard literary events dubbed Words in Winter from June through to August in Featherston.

It’s like we’ve been released from school and we have hours of holiday stimulation ahead! Featherston Booktown is a community organisation and by bringing writers, poets, artisans, and audiences to Featherston we are helping to energise local businesses, including our seven bookshops, and highlight all the rural delights the Wairarapa holds - particularly for our Wellington visitors.

The June series of events will be “Aotearoa New Zealand, We Need to Talk” featuring three award winning and provocative writers held over the weekend of 27- 28 June 2020 in the iconic Kiwi Hall, Bell Street in Featherston. 

Over the weekend of 10-11 July 2020 another two literary superstars, Elizabeth Knox and Peta Mathias are coming to Featherston and will uplift us with whimsy and zest for living.

Featherston Booktown thanks its partners, Friends and sponsors including Featherston Lionesses, South Wairarapa District Council, Palliser Ridge and Steve Chapman of Ray White Real Estate.  And without our stunning volunteers these events would not be possible.



Sarah Gaitanos and Linda Clark on Shirley Smith: An Examined Life

The Kiwi Hall, 62 Bell Street, Featherston

Saturday 27 June 2:00pm – 3:00pm

Sarah Gaitanos and Linda Clark explore Sarah’s recently released biography of Shirley Smith: An Examined Life…read more 

Alan Duff – A Conversation with my Country

The Kiwi Hall, 62 Bell Street, Featherston

Saturday 27 June 4:00pm – 5:00pm

Alan Duff in a hard-hitting conversation with Featherston Booktown Chair, Peter Biggs about Aotearoa New Zealand as Alan sees it, thirty years on from when his first book Once Were Warriors was published... Read more

Becky Manawatu – The magic of Auē.

The Kiwi Hall, 62 Bell Street, Featherston

Sunday 28 June at 11:00am

Winner of the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction at this year’s Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, Becky Manawatu, will be in conversation with her publisher, Mary McCallum, of Makaro Press, discussing why Becky’s prize-winning book (her first book), Auē, has been so successfulRead more

Elizabeth Knox – The Absolute Book.

The Adam’s Ballroom at Longwood Country Estate, 78 Longwood East Road, South Featherston, 5771

Friday, 10 July at 6:00pm

Elizabeth Knox, newly honoured CNZM, will be in conversation with Featherston-based broadcaster, writer, and chicken fancier, Noelle McCarthy, on her internationally bestselling book: The Absolute Book.  Wild and deep imagination at its best…. Read more

Peta Mathias – Gala Afternoon Tea.

The Supper Room in the Anzac Hall, 62 Bell Street, Featherston

Saturday 11 July from 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Join the ever-popular Peta Mathias – cook, raconteur, traveller, writer, singer, and TV star at a Gala Afternoon Tea and exclusive fundraising event for Featherston Booktown, limited to 50 people. Celebrate with Peta, whose legendary zest for life and energy will be a real tonic post lockdown… Read more

Celebrate National Poetry Day in Featherston with Featherston Booktown

Featherston Booktown’s ‘Words in Winter’ August events will celebrate poetry in many forms on Saturday 22 August.

2:30pm –3:45pm: ‘The Poet’s Life’ will feature four Wellington poets reading from their work and sharing how poetry has shaped their lives with moderator, Lynn Freeman. Guest poets will be Sam Duckor-Jones, Tayi Tibble, Jordan Hamel and winner of the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards: Mary and Peter Biggs prize for Poetry, Helen Rickerby.

5:00pm – 6:00pm ‘Dead People I’ve Known’ will see cult pioneer of the 1980’s Dunedin Sound, Shayne Carter in conversation with poet and journalist, Richard Langston about his Ockham New Zealand award-winning autobiography Dead People I’ve Known.

Featherston Booktown bookshops will be holding events and poetry writing competitions during National Poetry day weekend.


Past events