Five authors, a grazing table and a sports club packed with readers. What a way to celebrate our 50th birthday!
From left: Ben Brown, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Witi Ihimaera, Peter Biggs (chair), Joy Cowley and Owen Marshall.
We're grateful to everyone who braved the stormy weather to join us for our event 50 Years of Read NZ Te Pou Muramura, which was part of the Featherston Booktown programme.
Because writers are at the heart of what we do, both in our programmes and in the wider work to promote reading to all New Zealanders, we wanted to feature them as part of our 50th birthday celebrations.
In doing so, we looked to our recent Pānui - and the inspiring authors who wrote and delivered them - and invited them to join in a panel discussion about reading and writing, and specifically asked, "what's changed since your Pānui?"
Chaired by Peter Biggs, the panel featured literary luminaries Witi Ihimaera (who gave his Pānui in 2015), Selina Tusitala Marsh (2016), Owen Marshall (2017), Joy Cowley (2018), and Ben Brown (2020).
The conversation ranged from writing tips to reading demographics, the art of the short story, school visits, the role of libraries, and an original Joy Cowley story about a tiger, a dental nurse, and cake.
Our thanks go to Mary and Peter Biggs and the Booktown team for hosting the event as part of Featherston Booktown, and to our Pānui panel speakers too for their enlightening and entertaining discussion!
Each of the original Pānui/Lectures can be downloaded in e-book, pdf and/or audio formats by clicking here.