2018 Programmes

Call on O’Connell

Auckland Writers Festival is back for another short but sharp dose of literary shenanigans in the city with Call on O’Connell. An eclectic pick ‘n mix of talent, faces and genres. Get a taster of NZ’s finest satirists perched on barbershop stools and faking it. Enjoy Skype calls to authors overseas, full disclosure from creative mavens revealing what literary characters inspired which dress, shirt, dance, photograph. And eavesdrop under the table on some gatherings in a bar.

It’s a literary sampler, a plethora of experiences and a bit of mayhem taking place over 90 minutes and all for free. Be in six very cool venues with wildly different offerings at four different times. And yes you can have your cake and eat it too. Each session is repeated four times over the hour. Bring a friend, hit the street and enjoy the spread.

A downloadable map and programme will be here from mid-April so check back!

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​Select Propositions

Bohemein Chocolates, O’Connell Street

6.00pm - 6.15pm

6.25pm - 6.40pm

6.50pm - 7.05pm

7.15pm - 7.30pm

A good book should stir the heart and, er, move the loins too. Come along for a collective sigh and a tasty read from some of the top writers practiced in the art of not being prudish. Jackie Ashenden, Karina Bliss, Stephanie Johnson and Wendy Vella beckon with their chocolate box of readings … it’s enough to undo you. Hosted by Catherine Robertson.

​Phone Home

Ellen Melville Centre, various venues

Enter from Freyberg Place or High Street

6.00pm - 6.15pm

6.25pm - 6.40pm

6.50pm - 7.05pm

7.15pm - 7.30pm

We’ve lined up long distance phone calls over Skype with four New Zealand writers living abroad in Europe and the United Kingdom. Catch Morgan Bach in London, Kirsty Gunn in Scotland, Carl Nixon beaming out from Menton in France and Vivienne Plumb in Berlin.

The Cutting Edge

Bespoke Barbers, O’Connell Street

6.00pm - 6.15pm

6.25pm - 6.40pm

6.50pm - 7.05pm

7.15pm - 7.30pm

More than ever in this so-called post-truth, fake news-riddled world we rely on satire to make sense of it all. Satirists use words like a surgeon’s tool, making incisions into egos and puncturing vanities for the neatest possible exposure. Come and hear Penny Ashton, Sasha Borissenko, Steve Braunias, Greg Bruce, Brannavan Gnanalingam, Charlotte Grimshaw, John Sinclair and David Slack take to the Barber’s chair for a quick fire round of entirely false news stories based on real events.

​Good Grief

Jason Books, O’Connell Street

6.00pm - 6.15pm

6.25pm - 6.40pm

6.50pm - 7.05pm

7.15pm - 7.30pm

When writers die they become books, which is, after all, not too bad an incarnation.” Jorge Luis Borges.. In the excellent secondhand bookshop that is Jason Books, people who knew them first-hand talk about four of our lovely past writers: Fergus Barrowman on Barbara Anderson; Nancy Brunning on Rowley Habib; Lloyd Jones on Michael Gifkins; and Karlo Mila on Teresia Teaiwa.

​Under The Table

The Wine Chamber, O’Connell Street (Downstairs)

6.00pm - 6.15pm

6.25pm - 6.40pm

6.50pm - 7.05pm

7.15pm - 7.30pm

Supplied with a photo from under an occupied table in a bar, 12 writers set their imaginations and writing powers to work bringing the drama, dialogue, throat clearing excuses or unnecessary explanations to tell a story. Featuring Pip Adam, Airini Beautrais, Anton Blank, Anthony Byrt, Allan Drew, Thalia Henry, Anne Kennedy, Sebastian Hampson, Annaleese Jochems, Jessie Puru, Sharlene Teo and Briar Wood.

​The Style Council

Edit, O’Connell Street

6.00pm - 6.15pm

6.25pm - 6.40pm

6.50pm - 7.05pm

7.15pm - 7.30pm

Four different creative mavens - Jimmy D, Michael Parmenter, Marie Shannon, Karen Walker - school us (with visual accompaniment) on how their creative work in textiles, dance and art has been inspired by literature. Chaired by Jeremy Hansen.

​Call on O’Connell Sing-A-Long Grand Finale

Ellen Melville Centre, Pioneer Women’s Hall (upstairs)

7.30pm - 7.45pm

Join the Call on O’Connell choir in Pioneer Women’s Hall for a special performance of the song ‘The Booklovers’ by The Divine Comedy. A theatrical, musical take on the literary canon lovingly adapted by our local troubadours, The Souls. Prepare to belt out the chorus and help us finish Call on O’Connell in harmonious style.

*The Call on O’Connell Choir will be serenading you on the streets throughout the evening, too. With thanks to Artsense Productions.

​Supported by Auckland Council and Heart of the City (LOGOS)