A boutique literary festival featuring some of New Zealand’s best writers will be held in Mapua on the weekend of 20-22 September. Organised by VOLUME, the 2018 New Zealand Bookshop of the Year, the festival will continue the series of literary festivals held in Mapua to benefit the Mapua Community Library.
‘The VOLUME Mapua Literary Festival will emphasise the same qualities that we emphasise in our bookshop,’ says Thomas Koed, co-owner of VOLUME with Stella Chrysostomou. ‘The festival will be small but of a very high quality. The speakers will be so interesting that we imagine attendees will want to attend all sessions. They will hear from authors whose books they have enjoyed and discover authors whose books they will go on to enjoy. The intimate scale of the festival will also enable readers to meet and talk with authors and other literary enthusiasts.’
Writers attending the festival this year will include Lloyd Jones, who was short-listed for the 2007 Booker Prize for Mr Pip, and whose novel The Cage is a finalist for the Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize in the 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Ashleigh Young, whose essay collection Can You Tolerate This? won the prestigious 2017 Windham–Campbell Prize, will be appearing, along with Carl Shuker, whose new novel, A Mistake, explores the impact of a medical misadventure on the life of a Wellington surgeon. Novelist and essayist Paula Morris will return from her stint as the Katherine Mansfield fellow in Menton in time to attend the festival, and Annette Lees will speak about her book Swim, which records her year of daily wild swimming as well as being a history of New Zealand outdoor swimming. Renowned poet and art writer Gregory O’Brien will be attending, along with poet Jenny Bornholdt, and Thomasin Sleigh will speak about her novel Women in the Field, One and Two, which looks at the Modernist moment in the establishment of the New Zealand National Art Gallery from a feminist perspective. Lynn Jenner will discuss the relationship between words and land, and Eirlys Hunter, whose adventure novel The Mapmaker’s Race has delighted many children, will hold a session at the festival, as well as participating in one of the community events organised around the festival by the Mapua Community Library.
‘The Mapua Community Library is delighted to be hosting Mapua’s fifth Literary Festival, this year in tandem with VOLUME,’ says Carolyn Hughes of the Community Library committee. ‘The events start on Friday afternoon with storytelling, writing and illustrating workshops for local school children, followed by a ‘literary’ Quiz Night fundraiser for the library and supper in the evening.’ The authors’ sessions will take place on the Saturday and Sunday.
‘The programme we are delivering this year takes the Mapua Literary Festival to a new level,’ says Koed. ‘People from Mapua, Nelson and beyond will find much to excite them – and the community library benefits, too.’
The full programme will be released in May. In the meantime, the public is being invited to ‘Save the Date’: 20-22 September 2019.
Contact: Stella Chrysostomou and Thomas Koed