Don't Fence Me In
Victor Rodger + Cassandra Barnett + Ben Brown + Chris Tse
slq Auditorium 2, level 2, State Library
Country of Focus / Main Festival
#About the event
Duration: 60 minutes
Dip your toe in the poetry pool and, while you’re there, why not dive in the deep end of fiction. And who doesn’t have a kid’s book in them? These devilishly talented writers are all just that – writers. And they won’t be fenced in by form. Come hear why.
Panel: Ben Brown, Cassandra Barnett, Victor Rodger
Chair: Chris Tse
Victor Rodger, ONZM, is an award winning playwright and producer of Samoan (Iva) and Scottish (Dundee) descent. As a writer, he is best known for his award winning play Black Faggot which has played throughout New Zealand and internationally. IN 2015 he created FCC (Flow, Create, Connect), a theatre company designed to help create more opportunity for Pasifika practitioners. FCC has since produced an award winning production of Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop as well as the multi-award winning production of Wild Dogs Under My Skirt by Tusiata Avia which FCC presented off Broadway at the SoHo Playhouse last year, scooping the prize for Best of the Fringe. FCC are currently developing a stage adaptation of Tusiata Avia’s award winning poetry collection The Savage Coloniser Book.
Cassandra Barnett (Raukawa, Pākehā) is a writer of poems, essays, stories, watercolours, whenua (land) and sound. Her 2021 chapbook How | Hao is a poignant attempt to converse with Tāne Mahuta and Wheke - Māori atua (deities) of the forest - with the help of AI text generators and other constraints. How | Hao was published by Thechroniclesof Press, and features linocuts by the writer. Other work by Cassandra can be found in journals including Cordite, Landfall, Action | Spectacle, Pantograph Punch, Ate Journal of Contemporary Māori Art, Counterfutures, South as a State of Mind (Documenta 14), Te Whē ki Tukorehe,Turbine | Kapohau, Brief and OraNui; and in books including No Other Place to Stand (Auckland UP 2022), Robin White: Something is Happening Here (Te Papa Press 2022), Te Manu Huna a Tāne (Massey UP 2020), Huia Short Stories 13 (Huia 2019) and Black Marks on the White Page (Penguin Random House 2017).
In New Zealand we have a treaty, a document of partnership between Māori and 'The Crown' signed in 1840 by representatives of both parties. If such a thing exists, I am a son of the treaty. My mother is Waikato and I claim three tribes through her; Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Koroki and Ngāti Paoa. My father is Australian, born in Quorn, SA. I entered the world a week before the Rolling Stones played their first gig. For as long as I can remember, I've been a writer but I've only called myself one since 1992 with the publication of my first children's book. Since then I've written across most genres, including fiction, non fiction and memoir, and poetry as well, which I also perform. I've been lucky enough to pick up a couple of awards, including the 2006 Best Picture Book in the NZ Children's Book Awards, as well as several shortlists and residencies. In May 2021 I was appointed inaugural Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador for New Zealand. I'm also a father of two, which I consider my best work by far.
Chris Tse is the author of three poetry collections published by Auckland University Press: How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes, HE'S SO MASC, and Super Model Minority. He and Emma Barnes co-edited Out Here: An anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa. He lives and works in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.