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Verb Wellington News
The eighth annual Verb Festival celebrating Aotearoa writers and readers in Pōneke has a distinctly magical theme for 2021. Verb Wellington takes place November 3-7 and includes the popular LitCrawl on Saturday November 6.

“We have chosen the theme of ‘coven’ this year to explore ideas of community, the magic in literature, circles of knowledge both old and new, and to honor the idea that writing and reading can be. powerful acts: words and ideas can have an impact and influence change, ”says Claire Mabey, Festival director.

Highlights include Charlotte Grimshaw speaking about her memoir The Mirror Book; Hinemoa Elder and Māni Dunlop discussing Elder’s best-selling book by whakataukÄ« Aroha; Lana Lopesi and Rosbel Tan will talk about Lana’s upcoming book, Bloody Woman; and the return of the popular Feminist Rage Night hosted by Michele A’Court.

The program also includes several appearances by international writers thanks to the magic of the Internet: inability to do this in person, ”says Mabey.

Doireann Ni Ghriofa is the acclaimed author of the Irish Book of the Year 2020, A Ghost in the Throat, which has won numerous awards around the world and is universally lauded for how the book blends memory, scholarship and fiction.

Meg Mason, author of the worldwide bestselling book Sorrow & Bliss, will speak live to speak with Noelle McCarthy about the extraordinary success of her novel on mental health, family and relationships.

And Sam George-Allen will join us from Tasmania to talk to Michele A’Court about her collection of essays titled Witches: What Women Do Together which explores the different ways in which women work collectively for the greater good.

LitCrawl features the debut of a new opera in progress by Chris Tse and Ruby Solly in collaboration with musicians; and a session on Faith in the Pandemic with acclaimed historian Hirini Kaa and writers Danyl Mclauchlan and Ian Harris. LitCrawlers will be able to hear Whiti Hereaka on his new novel Kurangaituku; join a Hexing literary session; and much more.

The festival includes a series of early-stage events that take place throughout the month of October, including Traveling Covens, which brings writers home for intimate, in-depth conversation and creative writing inspiration.

Mabey says planning a festival during a pandemic is hard work, but believes it will be worth it.

“The past two years have been stressful for this industry. Bringing people together to celebrate the enormous capacity of the human imagination is difficult in a pandemic environment. But we’re optimistic that we can tweak the plans if we need to. I had a big dream as we finished this program: I was running down the street naked giving out glitter nail polish. I like to think that it’s my subconscious that shows me the potential of a festival at times like this.

Key details:
Verb Readers & Writers Festival 2021
November 3 – 7 (LitCrawl November 6)

Website: verbwellington.nz

Main supports:
Creative New Zealand, Wellington City Council, Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, National Library of New Zealand, MBiE, The Dominion Post, Vic Books, Naumi Studio Wellington, BlueStar, Bowen Galleries, New Zealand Community Trust, HUIA Publishers, ReadNZ.


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