Page & Blackmore Readers and Writers

Listen to dynamic speakers Witi Ihimaera and Helene Wong. Get the grey matter swirling with topical Thinking Brunches. Be immersed in the arts with Bloomsbury South and have a Flying Nun experience. Get excited by words with fresh talents David Coventry and Hera Lindsay Bird. Bring on the horses with Stacy Gregg and take to the high seas with Joan Druett.

We invite you to sit back, listen and be stimulated by the writers who bring you a world of ideas, entertainment and narrative. Ask questions, discuss and discover, meet authors, have your books signed and browse the Page & Blackmore bookstall. Come early to order coffee - when the talking begins the machine is turned off!

HEAR MORE FOR LESS with two special offers: 5 for $50 or 10 for $90 (Plus TicketDirect Service Fee). Excludes the Thinking Brunches. 

Choose the five or ten talks you wish to attend at a discounted price. Can be used for a group booking so ideal for book groups. These special offers are only available from Theatre Royal Nelson

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Fri 14 Oct, 12pm for lunch, 12.30pm start Granary Festival Café

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Award-winning author and consummate storyteller Witi Ihimaera is one of our finest writers. 

Described by Metro magazine as ‘part oracle, part memorialist’, his fiction draws on his life’s experience. His latest book, Maori Boy: A Memoir of Childhood, is an honest and stirring account of the family and community into which Ihimaera was born, of his early life in rural New Zealand, of family secrets, of facing anguish and challenges, and of laughter and love.

Maori Boy: A Memoir of Childhood - Winner of the Ockham New Zealand Book Award 2016 for General Non-Fiction. Hear Ihimaera’s story and gain insights into his magnificent novels, several of which, most recently Mahana (based on Bulibasha), have been made into films. 

Witi Ihimaera will be in conversation with Nelson counsellor and avid reader Liz Price.   

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Sat 15 Oct, 10.30am Granary Festival Café

As a young girl Stacy Gregg wanted to be two things when she grew up – a horse rider and a writer. She has achieved both!

Her brand-new novel, her 21st book, The Diamond Horse, is an epic Russian adventure complete with secrets, a sparkling diamond necklace, a frozen palace, friendship, survival and horses.

Stacy Gregg is the author of successful pony adventure series Pony Club Secrets and Pony Club Rivals. Her own ponies and experiences at her local pony club provided the inspiration for the Pony Club Secrets and her later years at boarding school were a catalyst for Pony Club Rivals. Find out more about Stacy Gregg.

Always popular with her young fans, The Island of Lost Horses won the Children’s Choice Award at the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and The Girl Who Rode the Wind is a finalist this year.

Come along to hear her in conversation with Nelson Intermediate school student, fan and horse-lover Harriet Allen.

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Sat 15 Oct, 1.30pm Granary Festival Café

Time to sit back, have a Founders Showhopper and find out How to have a beer.

Alice Galletly is a dedicated beer-drinker and the instigator of the blog Beer for a Year: 365 beers in 365 days. An avid fan and advocate of New Zealand’s brewing industry, and former deputy editor of Dish magazine, you will find out how to pour the perfect beer

How to have a beer is the latest edition in the Awa Press Ginger Series, which has brought us such gems as Steve Braunias’ How to Watch a Bird and Harry Ricketts’ How to Catch a Cricket Match.

Be drawn into the world of beer, from Pliny the Elder to Three Boys' Oyster Stout, floral perfumed Gunnamatta, and Yeastie Boys' Earl Grey IPA. Prepare to be entertained and informed, and learn to drink your beer like a pro.

Alice will chat with journalist Naomi Arnold about her new book How to have a beer.

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Sat 15 Oct, 4pm Suter Theatre

Art historian Peter Simpson will give an illustrated lecture on the remarkable rise and fall of The Group. 

Bloomsbury South: The Arts in Christchurch, 1933-1953 explores a time in which painters lived with writers, writers promoted musicians, and in which the different forms of art were deeply intertwined.

Find out about the aesthetic clashes of The Group; the friendship between Colin McCahon and James K. Baxter; Denis Glover and Leo Bensemann’s work at the Caxton Press; and Dame Ngaio Marsh’s productions at the Little Theatre.

This will be a fascinating talk about the lives and art of key members of our cultural canon; many of whom have Nelson connections, including Leo Bensemann, Toss Woollaston and Colin McCahon.

A writer and scholar who now lives in Auckland, Peter Simpson lived in Christchurch for 25 years and both graduated from and subsequently taught at the University of Canterbury. Simpson is the author of six non-fiction books, including Fantastica: The World of Leo Bensemann, Patron and Painter: Charles Brasch and Colin McCahon, and Answering Hark: McCahon/Caselberg: Painter/Poet. He has edited, or contributed to, many other titles, including books on Allen Curnow, Kendrick Smithyman, Ronald Hugh Morrieson, Charles Spear and Peter Peryer. A former head of English at the University of Auckland, Simpson was also co-founder and part-time director of the Holloway Press, an institution which drew on the small-press tradition of Lowry and Glover.

Take a look inside Bloomsbury South

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THINKING BRUNCH 1 | WHERE DO WE COME FROM? - Migration & Belonging

Sun 16 Oct, 10.30am for brunch, 11am start Granary Festival Café

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Migration is a hot topic globally.

With record numbers of people on the move, whether planned or as political or economic refugees, this is an issue that affects us all. Many of us are migrants or descendants of migrants, all looking for a better life.

Join us for a stimulating discussion as we look at where we come from, what culture means, and how we can belong together. Chaired by Stella Chrysostomou, with Anders Falstie-Jensen, Dr Kay Sneddon, Helene Wong and Philip Woollaston.

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Sun 16 Oct, 1.30pm Granary Festival Café

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Listen to eloquent writer, actor, director and Listener film critic Helene Wong talk about her recent memoir Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story.

Preferring invisibility, Wong grew up resisting her Chinese identity, but in 1980 she travelled to her father’s home village in southern China and came face-to-face with her ancestral past.

Wong received a standing ovation at the Auckland Writers Festival earlier this year not just for her ability to convey her discovery of her own identity as a Chinese New Zealander, but for providing her audience with a window through which they could see themselves. This memoir is a story for us all. This session must not be missed!

Read about and listen to Helene Wong. 

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Sun 16 Oct, 3.30pm Granary Festival Café

The fascinating true story of William ‘Bully’ Hayes, the so-called 19th century ‘Pirate of the Pacific’. 

Discover the myth – an inspiration for fictional characters and films – and the man: less noble but no less intriguing. Maritime historian Joan Druett will regale us with tales both true and wild about the fascinating William Hayes, a legendary and genuine rogue and adventurer.

Joan Druett is the author of numerous books of tales true and otherwise about life under sail. These include the popular Island of the Lost, the fascinating story of two shipwrecks in 1864 on the remote and harsh shores of Auckland Island. In 2012, her critically acclaimed work on Cook’s navigator, Tupaia, was awarded the New Zealand Book Award for General Non-Fiction.

Sort the fact from the fiction with maritime historian Joan Druett, in conversation with Jessie Bray Sharpin from the Nelson Provincial Museum. The Notorious Captain Hayes - a swash-buckling affair not to be missed!

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Sat 22 Oct, 11am Granary Festival Café

Subverting the notions of man vs. wild, Laurence Fearnley’s latest novel The Quiet Spectacular explores women’s strength and purpose, and the power of friendship and laughter.

Fearnley’s perceptive writing about the choices people make, and the impact of these, laid across our familiar landscapes, gives us a window into the human psyche.

Hear Laurence talking about her new novel. Reviewer, David Hill described The Quiet Spectacular as a satisfying read and Fearnley a very able craftsperson. Listen to his review here.

Fearnley is the critically acclaimed author of Edwin & Matilda, runner-up in the 2008 Montana New Zealand Book Awards 2008; The Hut Builder, winner of the fiction category of the 2011 NZ Post Book Awards; and Reach, long-listed for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2016.

Laurence Fearnley will be in conversation with book lover and communications consultant Jacquetta Bell.

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Sat 22 Oct, 1pm Granary Festival Café

The Invisible Mile is a gritty, awe-inspiring novel about the 1928 Australasian Ravat-Wonder team, the first English-speaking team to compete in the Tour de France.

Coventry explores the fatigue of racing, the psychological pressures on the team, and the scars of WWI. The Invisible Mile won The Hubert Church Award for Fiction (Best First Book) in the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. “A tour de force, written with poetic beauty. The Invisible Mile is an important and impressive début.” Steve Walker, Sunday Star-Times

The Invisible Mile has received praise internationally, and will be translated into several languages, including Dutch and German. Coventry’s UK publisher is Picador; read this interesting piece about sporting cults. 

"…absorbing, and on many levels. It’s a book about violence, youth, mythology, history, guilt and love – all set to the agonising rhythm of an inhuman bike race. Some achievement! Fictionalised accounts of sporting events don’t always work, but this has the same feeling of total immersion as I remember feeling when I read David Peace’s The Damned United." Ned Boulting, ITV Journalist and author of How I Won the Yellow Jumper.

“Coventry invites you back to the 1928 Tour de France, to the horror of the First World War, to the hallucinogen mind of a rider. And you go with him, whether you like it or not, because he forces you. Sport and literature are not natural allies, but are here loved ones in the hands of David Coventry.” Bert Wagendorp, bestselling author of Ventoux.

To find out more about David Coventry go to publisher, Victoria University Press or David’s own webpage

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Sat 22 Oct, 3pm Granary Festival Café

From a spare room in Christchurch to the living rooms of the world, indie record label Flying Nun was the innovator of an era.

We invite Flying Nun founder Roger Shepherd and music aficionado Grant Smithies to the stage to talk about the label that brought us The Chills, The Clean, Chris Knox, Tall Dwarfs, The Verlaines, Sneaky Feelings, The Bats, Straitjacket Fits and many more. A perfect Saturday afternoon of riffing, wild anecdotes and the reasons why we are still In Love with These Times.

Flying Nun defined several decades of New Zealand music. Here’s a great interview with Roger Shepherd written by music critic Kiran Dass. And to stir the nostalgia strings go and have a listen to some of your favourites to get you in the mood: Pin Group’s Ambivalence, The Clean’s Anything Could Happen, and The Chills’ Pink Frost. For more, have a look at NZ on Screen Flying Nun Collection.

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Sun 23 Oct, 10.30am for brunch, 11am start Granary Festival Café

How will the world look in 2040?

That’s the not-so-distant future. Join our panellists as we contemplate what the future holds for you, your children and grandchildren. In a period where workplaces, political and economic systems, and the natural environment will undergo unprecedented change, what kinds of opportunities and challenges does this present?

Chaired by Stella Chrysostomou, with panellists from across the age demographic: Kindra Douglas, Hera Lindsay Bird, Charles Anderson and Indigo Levett.

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Sun 23 Oct, 1.30pm Granary Festival Café

Bridget Williams Books is an outstanding publisher of New Zealand non-fiction.

In 2015 BWB won the NZ Book Industry Special Award. "Bridget Williams Books wins this for their innovative list, and how effectively they have embraced the new digital age. They have proven their commitment to quality non-fiction publishing, publishing the important Tangata Whenua, while launching their new imprint BWB Texts over 2014," said Carolyn Morgan, one of the five judges.

In 2016 Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History won the Illustrated Non-Fiction Award at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. BWB’s numerous award-winning books focus on New Zealand history, Māori history, women’s issues and contemporary topics.

Hear publisher Bridget Williams in conversation with Robbie Burton, publisher and co-owner of Potton & Burton. 

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Sun 23 Oct, 3.30pm Granary Festival Café

Jillian Sullivan moved to the Ida Valley in Otago to build a straw-bale house and begin a new life.

A writer who had been settled in Nelson for many years, Jillian packed her bags and looked forward. Her book, A Way Home, is due for release in October. This is one woman's inspiring story of overcoming practical and philosophical difficulties, told in her own memorable style, with humour, insight and grit. 

For more information about Jillian Sullivan and her writing have a look at her webpage and for a small taste of this life adventure read her summer essay, A Labour of Love.

Jillian will talk with Nelson counsellor and avid reader Liz Price.

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Mon 24 Oct, 10.30am Suter Theatre

Katherine Mansfield wrote, ‘Oh to be a writer, a real writer.’ Sarah Laing wanted to be a real writer too – a writer as famous as Katherine Mansfield, but not as tortured.

Mansfield and Me, part memoir, part biography, part fantasy, charts Laing’s journey towards publication and parenthood against Mansfield’s own dramatic story.

Sarah Laing has long been fascinated with our cultural icons; drawing them and depicting their lives in her wry comic strip. A prize-winning author, Laing’s books include the critically acclaimed short story collection, Coming up Roses, and novels Dead People’s Music and The Fall of Light.

Sarah Laing, writer and graphic artist, will be in conversation with Readers & Writers co-ordinator Stella Chrysostomou.

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Mon 24 Oct, 12.30pm Suter Theatre

“I think there’s a pretty strong case which suggests Hera Lindsay Bird is like the most exciting newish poet in NZ.” Steve Braunias

Hera Lindsay Bird has an MA in poetry from Victoria University of Wellington, where she won the 2011 Adam Prize. Her first collection of poetry, Hera Lindsay Bird, is receiving attention here and making waves internationally. Her work has been published by Sport, Hue & Cry, The Spinoff, The New Zealand Listener and Best New Zealand Poems.  She is also interested in the writing experience. She created TMI, a series of free, pop-up creative writing courses. Listen to Hera on RNZ.  

Hera will read from her new collection and talk about her writing with Thomas Pors Koed.

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