Word Festival brings famous authors to Taranaki

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Witi Ihimaera will talk about her 50-year career during a Festival of Words session at Puke Ariki on July 29 (file photo).

Chris Skelton

Witi Ihimaera will talk about her 50-year career during a Festival of Words session at Puke Ariki on July 29 (file photo).

The New Plymouth District will host some of the biggest names in New Zealand literature this month to celebrate the Puke Ariki Festival of Words.

The four-day festival includes sessions with authors, writing and poetry workshops for adults, workshops for children and storytelling readings.

“We have a fantastic roster of guest speakers, writing and poetry, comedy and kōrero workshops,” NPDC Libraries Director Dyane Hosler said in a statement.

Guests include authors Dame Fiona Kidman, Witi Ihimaera, Tom Sainsbury, Mary Holm and Apirana Taylor.

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There are poi and book-making workshops for children and writing sessions for adults and youth.

Hosler said some events were already sold out and there were limited tickets for the rest of the bookable performances.

The Festival of Words opens with an evening featuring award-winning writer Witi Ihimaera and Kingsley Spargo on July 29 at the Puke Ariki Museum.

Ihimaera’s career began almost 50 years ago when the first collection of short stories by a Maori writer was published.

It was a historic occasion for New Zealand literature and led to a bibliography of over 40 titles, including The whale rider.

Tickets to spend an evening with Ihimaera are still on sale.

Other festival highlights include an afternoon with author Sarah Myles at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery cinema, where she will talk about her experience re-enacting the stories of her grandfather, a New Plymouth carpenter. , who died in the Mount Erebus disaster more than four decades ago.

Tom Sainsbury will speak about his book, New Zealanders: The Field Guide, during the festival (file photo).

Ricky Wilson / Stuff

Tom Sainsbury will speak about his book, New Zealanders: The Field Guide, during the festival (file photo).

Comedian, impersonator and writer Tom Sainsbury will add to his growing reputation and follow when he appears at the Puke Ariki museum to discuss his book New Zealanders: The Field Guide, a compilation of his favorite kiwi archetypes.

The festival runs from July 29 to August 1 and includes paid, free, and open events (no reservations required). Consult the complete program and book your tickets on www.pukeariki.com/FOW


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