The Ruapehu Writers Festival 2016 will be a long weekend of readings, talks, panel discussions, workshops, a poetry slam, and some more unusual events such as a literary waterfall walk, a bike ride and a pony trek, based in Ōhakune. It’ll all start on Thursday night (17 March), and will run through until Sunday afternoon (20 March).
It will be a relatively informal festival, at which readers and writers can share ideas about literature, the books we have read, the books we are writing, and the world our books relate to. The Festival brings together critically acclaimed writers with local connections – including Martin Edmond, Jenny Pattrick and Antony Millen – with writers from around the country. We want to make room for a range of writers to present their work, and to make room for thinking and talking, not just book promotion.
There will be sessions for children, with Stacy Gregg, Paula Green, and Jenny and Laughton Pattrick. Sue Orr and Bianca Zander will talk about place as character in their novels, Harry Ricketts and Nick Ascroft will read comic poems, and Elizabeth Knox will give our Festival lecture.
We hope students from Ruapehu College and Taumarunui High School will be keen to participate, as well as writers from around the region. Champion slam poets Carrie Rudzinski and Ken Arkind will run our Friday night Poetry Slam, editors from four of New Zealand’s literary presses will talk about what they look for in new writing, and well-known authors will take workshops in the writing of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction.
We think Ōhakune, in the centre of the North Island, is the perfect place to hold a festival, and while many people visit during the winter for skiing, it is at its most beautiful in the summer. We want to celebrate and to learn about the place, its history and people, and the mountain, Ruapehu.
Whāia e koe ki te iti kahurangi: ki te tuohu koe, me maunga teitei.
Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.
- Anna Jackson (poet and Associate Professor at Victoria University)
- Simon Edmonds (cafe owner based in Wellington and Rangataua)
- Helen Rickerby (poet, publisher and web editor)