Nau mai, haere mai ki te waituhi o Tāmaki 2022. Welcome to the 2022 Auckland Writers Festival.
Complex times demand rich responses, and if ever there were a time for amplifying the collective consciousness, it would be now. As borders have shuttered the world for two years, Aotearoa’s annual celebration of words and ideas returns in full-form with live and streaming events in Auckland from 22 - 28 August.
As part of the 22nd festival, festivalgoers are invited to hear from world-leading experts on Putin and Afghanistan, a Golden-Globe winning actor turned New York Times bestseller, Māori and Pasifika stars lighting up the international poetry and spoken word scene, a two-time Oscar winner, and one of the UK’s most acclaimed philosophers, as well as iconic comedians, award-winning screenwriters, celebrated scientists, and prize-winning novelists.
Live events include New Yorker journalist and Putin expert Masha Gessen; two-time Oscar winner Jane Campion; preeminent philosopher A.C Grayling; feminist icon and bestselling author Clementine Ford; multi-million-copy selling novelist and TV-producer phenomenon Liane Moriarty, and former soldier, diplomat, and counterinsurgency expert David Kilcullen.
Livestreaming-into-venue events include Golden Globe winning actor and bestselling author David Duchovny on his four novels including latest work Truly Like Lightning; 2021 Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah discussing his lauded career including critically acclaimed novel By the Sea; and historian, activist, and essayist Rebecca Solnit on her striking and elegant biography of George Orwell. There will be digital workshop and salon appearances from writers including Colm Toibin, Michael Rosen, Lydia Davis, Jan Kemp, Warsan Shire, Damon Galgut, Stephanie Dowrick, Graeme Simsion, Delia Ephron, Lea Ypi and Meg Mason.
Special events include Art and Power, a Sydney Art Quartet music and readings performance; The Genius of Sondheim with guests including Hayden Tee and Jennifer Ward-Lealand; theatrical works Hello Darkness, Ka-Shue, and Paragon Dreams; rising hip hop and spoken word stars in New Dawn; a Naked Samoans line-up; and a sound journey through the night with Annette Lees, Rewi Spraggon and Riki Bennett.
In our curatorial strands, led by Moana Maniapoto, Leki Jackson-Bourke and Rosabel Tan, esteemed guests include Tā Tīmoti Kāretu, Jacinta Ruru, Miriama Kamo, Amanaki Prescott-Faletau, Aigagalefili Fepulea’I Tapua’i, Nathan Joe, Nahyeon Lee, Chris Tse, Himali McInnes and Pax Assadi.
We present special pairings: former Chief Justice Sian Elias with son Ned Fletcher; fiction prize winners Lloyd Jones and Whiti Hereaka; the Hon. Christopher Finlayson with Tā Mark Solomon; wāhine toa Lana Lopesi and Coco Solid; Elizabeth Knox and Lee Murray; and Ockham non-fiction winner Vincent O’Malley with Joanna Kidman.
Celestial navigation, 19th-century fashion, Auckland architecture, art and geography, wild weather, extinctions, stickiness, wealth and equity, health, misinformation, education, culture and collecting all get the spotlight.
There are engaging memoirs from Noelle McCarthy, Abbas Nazari, Chris Long, Jo Morgan, Richard Shaw and Alexander McKinnon; Nigel Borell surveys Māori contemporary art; Joanna Grochowicz remembers Shackleton; and Mohamed Hassan talks about being Muslim.
David Trubridge, Roderick Fry and Nick Bollinger launch books, as does the Embassy of Ireland, which gifts Aotearoa New Zealand a Hēmi Kelly te reo Māori translation of Brian Friel’s Translations.
Friday night sees STREETSIDE take to Beresford Square; and fabulous fiction and poetry is celebrated with authors including Elizabeth Smither, Owen Marshall, Kevin Ireland, Tayi Tibble, Anne Kennedy, Douglas Lloyd Jenkins, Kirsten McDougall, Gigi Fenster, Sue Orr, Rosetta Allan and Bryan Walpert.
Aotea Square hosts documentary screenings of Martin Hill and Philippa Jones’ epic Fine Lines sculpture project and Gaylene Preston’s Keri Hulme tribute, as well as a poetry installation work.
And we book-end the public programme with celebrations of Jenny Pattrick and Tessa Duder.
E tū kahikatea.