Dynamic New Zealand writers to feature at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival   20 Jul 2017

Dynamic New Zealand writers making waves at home and abroad will present their work and participate in this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Participation in the festival is part of the New Zealand at Edinburgh season 2017 which sees the return of a New Zealand season across the various Edinburgh festivals taking place in August. This follows an ambitious and successful presentation in 2014.

The writers are award-winning Wellington poet Hera Lindsay Bird, critically acclaimed Auckland poet, playwright and fiction writer Courtney Sina Meredith, and best-selling Wellington novelist, graphic artist and blogger Sarah Laing. They will be accompanied by Rachael King, author and programme director of WORD Christchurch, who has worked with the festival to select the writers and curate their events.

We are thrilled that the relationships developed during previous seasons have resulted in this new partnership. It will expose the festival’s audiences to new and talented voices from our part of the world and provide a welcome networking opportunity for our writers,” said Creative New Zealand senior manager for international, Cath Cardiff.

With the theme of Brave New Words, this year’s book festival programme features more than 1000 authors from 45 countries.   

Hera Lindsay Bird will appear with recent Ted Hughes prize-winner Hollie McNish in Poetry Superstars, and perform in a late night spoken word showcase. Courtney Sina Meredith will join a 21st Century Women panel, curated by guest selectors Roxane Gay and Jackie Kay. Meredith will also appear alongside Scottish poet and musician MacGillivray in Reshuffling the Pack.  Sarah Laing will host a reading workshop of Katherine Mansfield stories, as well as talk about her book Mansfield & Me alongside English comic creator Hannah Berry in Graphic Novels of Influential Women.  Rachael King will also appear in the children’s programme.

We are delighted to be working with WORD Christchurch this year and we are very much looking forward to welcoming some of New Zealand’s wonderful writers to the book festival in August,” said Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Nicky Barley.

It has been a pleasure to work with Edinburgh International Book Festival on programming New Zealand writers into some fantastic events that will showcase their talents and ensure maximum exposure for their work,” said Rachael King. 

Biographies:

  • Hera Lindsay Bird has an MA in poetry from the International Institute of Modern Letters in Wellington where she won the 2011 Adam Prize for best folio. Her debut, self-titled book of poetry HERA LINDSAY BIRD was published in July 2016 by Victoria University Press (VUP). It has become the fastest selling, most popular book of poetry the VUP has ever published, and won Best First Book of Poetry at the 2017 Ockhman New Zealand Book Awards.

herabird.weebly.com

  • Courtney Sina Meredith is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and musician. Her play Rushing Dolls (2010) won a number of awards and was published by Playmarket in 2012. She launched her first published book of poetry, Brown Girls in Bright Red Lipstick (Beatnik), at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair, and has since published a short story collection, Tail of the Taniwha (2016) to critical acclaim. She has been selected for a number of international writers' residencies. Meredith describes her writing as an ‘ongoing discussion of contemporary urban life with an underlying Pacific politique’. She is of Samoan, Mangaian and Irish descent.

courtneymeredith.com

  • Sarah Laing is the author of two novels, Dead People’s Music and Fall of Light, and a short story collection, Coming Up Roses. With a background in illustration and design, she runs the popular comic blog Let Me Be Frank, which she started when she held the Frank Sargeson Fellowship in 2008. She has contributed comics to magazines, illustrated children’s books, and co-edited Three Words: An Anthology of Aotearoa/NZ Women’s Comics. Her latest book, Mansfield & Me, is a graphic biography and memoir, which compares the life of New Zealand’s most famous writer Katherine Mansfield, to Sarah’s own life of creativity, insecurity and celebrity obsession.

sarahelaing.com

  • Rachael King has been the programme director of WORD Christchurch since 2013. She is the author of two books for adults, The Sound of Butterflies (winner of Best First Novel at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards) and Magpie Hall (long-listed for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award), and one for children, Red Rocks, which won New Zealand’s longest-running literary award, the Esther Glen Medal. Her work has been translated into eight languages and has garnered critical praise worldwide. 

rachael-king.com

 

LISTINGS:

Hera Lindsay Bird & Hollie McNish

POETRY’S SUPERSTARS

Mon 21 Aug, 7:15pm - 8:15pm

Venue: Studio Theatre      Tickets: £12.00, £10.00

If poetry is a minority interest nobody told Hollie McNish or Hera Lindsay Bird, whose spoken word performances attract widespread attention on and offline, generating a fast-growing cohort of fans. After wowing us last year with ‘Nobody Told Me’, McNish returns with a new collection, ‘Plum’. Hera Lindsay Bird’s strikingly outspoken debut has been the fastest-selling, most popular book of poetry New Zealand has ever published. Two superstar performances, one provocative hour.

 

Sarah Laing on the Work of Katherine Mansfield

READING WORKSHOP

Sun 20 Aug 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Venue: Writer’s Retreat      Tickets: £15.00, £12.00

 

Sarah Laing, illustrator, author and creator of a graphic memoir of Katherine Mansfield, explores the work of the short story writer. Mansfield often wrote of feeling alienated in her native New Zealand because of the treatment of the Maori people and at 19 relocated to the UK where she became friends with the likes of D H Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. Expect an open discussion from the start: you can either read the work ahead of the event or be inspired to pick it up afterwards.

 

Hannah Berry & Sarah Laing

GRAPHIC NOVELS OF INFLUENTIAL WOMEN

Sun 20 Aug 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Venue: Bosco Theatre (George Street)      Tickets:  £12.00, £10.00

 

Katherine Mansfield was the only writer of whom Virginia Woolf was jealous. The New Zealand icon, who died from tuberculosis at the age of 34, is brought to vivid life through Sarah Laing’s new graphic novel memoir. Hannah Berry’s Livestock is a savage satire in words and pictures in which human cloning is legalised while the government is concerned about the political activism of a vastly popular female singer.

 

Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, Thordis Elva & Courtney Sina Meredith with Jackie Kay

21ST CENTURY WOMEN

Sat 19 Aug 8:45pm - 9:45pm

Venue: Studio Theatre   Tickets:  £12.00, £10.00

Jackie Kay brings together guests from three remarkably different continents. Argentinian novelist Gabriela Cabezón Cámara’s ‘Slum Virgin’ tells the story of Cleopatra, a transvestite who renounces prostitution after the Virgin Mary appears before her. Icelandic writer Thordis Elva explains what made her decide to re-enter a dialogue with the man who had raped her 20 years earlier. Meanwhile, New Zealander Courtney Sina Meredith talks about her debut book of short stories ‘Tail of the Taniwha’.

 

MacGillivray & Courtney Sina Meredith

RESHUFFLING THE PACK

Sun 20 Aug 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Venue: Writers' Retreat                  Tickets: £8.00, £6.00

 

MacGillivray and Courtney Sina Meredith are contemporary poets who play with the past and toy with tradition to create dynamic, daring new poetry and stories. MacGillivray’s ‘The Nine of Diamonds’ reinterprets the story of the nine of diamonds, the 'Curse of Scotland'. Courtney Sina Meredith is a New Zealand poet, fiction writer and musician, whose writing interrogates contemporary urban life against her Samoan, Mangaian and Irish descent.

 

Lari Don & Rachael King: Migrating Mythologies

AGE 8-12

Sat 19 Aug 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Venue: Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab              Tickets: £5.00

 

Myths, legends and folklore travel the globe, emerging in various guises. Join two authors from two hemispheres to contrast and compare Celtic Selkies and other unworldly creatures. Scottish writer Lari Don melds Greek and Scots legends in her exciting First Aid for Fairies series, while New Zealander Rachael King explores the world of seal people on Wellington’s wild, untamed coastline.

 

Website:         www.nzatedinburgh.com

Facebook:      nzatedinburgh

Twitter:          [email protected]

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