Institute of Modern Letters Writers on Monday Programme 2017

 Mondays 12.15-1.15pm   Te Papa Marae, Level 4, Te Papa



The Wish Child: Catherine Chidgey

Writers on Mondays begins with fiction writer and multiple award winner Catherine Chidgey. Chidgey’s first three novels achieved international acclaim. Her much anticipated fourth novel The Wish Child won the 2017 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards and is published internationally this year. Set in Germany in 1939, The Wish Child is a profound meditation on the wreckage caused by a corrupt ideology, on the resilience of the human spirit, and on crimes that cannot be undone. Join novelist Kate Duignan in a discussion about this intelligent and lyrical book and Chidgey’s writing career to date.


Stella! Charlotte Wood in conversation with Emily Perkins



The Little Death of Self: Marianne Boruch

American poet Marianne Boruch notes that ‘Both poetry and the essay come from the same impulse—to think about something and at the same time, see it closely, carefully, and enact it.’ A recent poetry collection Cadaver, Speak, sees her in the dissection room considering the ravages and resilience of the body, and in her new essay collection The Little Death of Self, Boruch’s restless curiosity ranges across science, music, medicine and art, asking questions such as ‘Why does the self grow smaller as the poem grows enormous?’ She is joined by poetry and creative nonfiction convenor Chris Price to explore how her poetry and essays approach the big topics of love, death and human knowledge.



Poetry Quartet: Louise Wallace, Hannah Mettner, Maria McMillan & Airini Beautrais

These poets write works of boldness and acute observation. Louise Wallace’s Bad Things, Hannah Mettner’s Fully Clothed and So Forgetful, Maria McMillan’s The Ski Flier and Flow by Airini Beautrais are diverse and exciting books of poetry. Each writer engages with language in innovative ways to explore and reimagine history, commerce, science, love and the things people do. Come and hear the latest New Zealand poetry in a reading and discussion chaired by poet and novelist Anna Smaill.


Hopeful Animals
In Tracy Farr’s new novel The Hope Fault, a weekend that unfolds in real time bookends 100 years which include events from the ‘real’ world. Damien Wilkins’ Lifting takes place in the weeks leading up to the close of a Wellington department store and has been described as ‘an intense exploration of the moment when the solid ground of a life is taken away’. Pip Adam’s The New Animals walks the streets of Auckland city now, examining the fashion scene. All three novels weave real and imagined events together, offering new ways to understand the present moment. Join novelist and short story writer William Brandt in a discussion with these writers about their work and why the novel continues to provide a vital lens on contemporary life.



Best New Zealand Poems 2016

Best New Zealand Poems is published annually by Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters. Get ready for Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day (on 25 August) by coming along to hear thirteen of the best read work chosen by Best New Zealand Poems 2016 editor Jenny Bornholdt – and be sure to visit to view the full selection. Poets Nick Ascroft, James Brown, John Dennison, Adrienne Jansen, Bill Manhire, Bill Nelson, Claire Orchard, Kerrin P. Sharpe, Oscar Upperton, Marty Smith, Tim Upperton, Airini Beautrais and Ashleigh Young are introduced by Jenny Bornholdt.



The Fuse Box

The Fuse Box is a brand new collection of essays and interviews with some of our best writers that aims to shine fresh light on the creative process. This event assembles some of the book’s contributors to explore issues relevant to all stages of the writing life: how to get started and what to write about, how to keep the flow going over time, freedom and constraint, how your writing might meet the world, and how to make the most of accidents. Playwright Gary Henderson, novelists Rajorshi Chakraborti and Elizabeth Knox, and poet James Brown join editors Chris Price and Emily Perkins to celebrate the launch of The Fuse Box.



Victor Rodger and Friends

We are thrilled to have acclaimed playwright Victor Rodger as the Victoria University/Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence for 2017. Victor has assembled a panel of writers to explore how the work of others can inspire and challenge. Join Mitch Tawhi Thomas, Moana Ete, Jamie McCaskill and Faith Wilson in conversation about creative communities.



The Next Page 1

A wonderful opportunity to hear a fresh mix of poetry and prose by the current cohort of writers in the Master of Arts in Creative Writing Programme at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters. Maria SamuelaRebecca ReaderAnthony LapwoodJacqueline JenkinsLinda CollinsMia GaudinEssa RanapiriFrank SinclairTayi Tibble and Kirsten Griffiths  are introduced by Emily Perkins.



The Next Page 2

Part Two of the popular Next Page sessions features readings from Rebecca PriestleyNicole ColmarSarah Scott, Antonia BaleClaire O’LoughlinLynne RobertsonSudha RaoSharon LamSam Duckor-Jones and Clare Moleta. Introduced by Chris Price.



Short Sharp Script 1: Circa Theatre

Actors perform dynamic new work by MA scriptwriting students from the IIML: Courtney Brown, Kate Burney,
Madeline Bush, Lindsay Christopherson and
Fleur Cogle. Introduced by Ken Duncum.


Short Sharp Script 2: Circa Theatre

More exciting work in progress from the second group of IIML scriptwriters, at Circa Theatre. This week: Ricky Dey, Ricardo Giraldo, Sarah Harpur, Sarita So and Jonathan Watt. Introduced by Ken Duncum.


Writers on Mondays is presented with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, National Poetry Day and Circa Theatre.

For more information contact the International Institute of Modern Letters or visit our website:


Phone: (04) 463 6854



International Institute of Modern Letters  Te P¯utahi Tuhi Auaha o Te Ao


From July to October each year, the International Institute of Modern Letters, home of Victoria University’s prestigious Creative Writing programme, runs a series of events highlighting the very latest work of writers active in Wellington and further afield. All in all, a lively and stimulating way to begin the week – and it’s free!