A wealth of literary talent at Writers on Mondays

16 July 2019

Popular readings series Writers on Mondays returns to Wellington from 22 July, featuring a stunning array of local, national, and international writers.


This year’s international guest is Ukrainian/Australian writer Maria Tumarkin

Presented by Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) in conjunction with Te Papa Tongarewa, the series runs each Monday from 22 July to 7 October, at 12.15-1.15 pm on Te Marae, Level 4, Te Papa.

Two scriptwriting sessions on September 16 and 23 will be hosted by Circa Theatre. Admission is free for all sessions.

This year’s international guest is Ukrainian/Australian writer Maria Tumarkin, whose latest book Axiomatic is a passionate mix of biography, reportage, and sociology that explores how the past continues to have a devastating impact on the individual and collective present. Axiomatic was praised by the Guardian as ‘a work of great power and beauty’ and shortlisted for the 2018 Stella Prize. Tumarkin’s three previous books, Otherland (2010), Courage (2007), and Traumascapes (2005), have all been critically acclaimed and shortlisted for major prizes. She appears on Monday 12 August and will also give a masterclass to IIML students while in Wellington.

Writers on Mondays is an essential feature of Wellington’s literary calendar and we couldn’t be prouder of it,” says IIML Senior Lecturer Chris Price.

First up on 22 July isplaywright, poet, broadcaster and the 2019 Creative New Zealand/Victoria University of Wellington Writer in Residence, Lynda Chanwai-Earle in conversation with producer and playwright Miria George.

On 5 August, celebrated poet Dinah Hawken joins fellow K?piti writer Lynn Jenner to discuss the different ways in which New Zealand’s past informs the present in their latest books, with chair Bill Manhire.

On 12 August, Maria Tumarkin unpacks the way we deal with individual and social trauma in readings from her book Axiomatic, in discussion with Chris Price.

On 19 August, poet and novelist Fiona Farrell introduces nine of the best from the 2018 edition of Best New Zealand Poems (www.bestnewzealandpoems.org.nz) in a warm-up for National Poetry Day.

On 26 August, the winner of the 2019 Ockham NZ Poetry Prize, Helen Heath, and Victoria University of Wellington award-winning science writer Associate Professor Rebecca Priestley, discuss the intersection of science and the personal in Priestley’s memoir Fifteen Million Years in Antarctica and Heath’s poetry collection Are Friends Electric?

The month of September is dedicated to showcasing the emerging new voices from the IIML’s Master of Arts in Creative Writing programme. Poets, short-story writers, memoirists, and novelists share their works in progress on September 2 and 9. Actors perform dynamic new work from from the Master of Scriptwriting workshop at Circa Theatre on 16 and 23 September.

On 30 September, novelists Elizabeth Knox and Craig Cliff talk with Kate Duignan about their highly anticipated new books, Knox’s The Absolute Book and Cliff’s Nailing Down the Saint.

The 2019 series rounds off on 7 October with more exciting new fiction. Lawrence Patchett talks about his new novel The Burning River alongside Carl Shuker, whose recent novel A Mistake has received much critical acclaim. Fergus Barrowman from Victoria University Press chairs the event.

The full 2019 Writers on Mondays programme can be downloaded from the IIML website.

Writers on Mondays is presented by Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and additional support from Circa Theatre and Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day.

Victoria University of Wellington: Capital thinking. Globally minded.

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