Country of Focus
Aotearoa and the Great Ocean
Beginning in our sixtieth year, we are initiating a new part of our regular programming – a country or region of focus within the Indo–Pacific. In a time of restricted travel, journeying in the mind is all the more vital. And seeking out a diversity of perspectives from our nearest neighbours on all the important issues of our day is critical for the maturity and balance of our own public dialogues.
Our inaugural program focuses on the literature and storytelling traditions of some of our nearest neighbours of the Pacific – Aotearoa/New Zealand and the island nations of the Great Ocean.
Program highlights include the extraordinary literary talents of former poet laureate of New Zealand Selina Tusitala Marsh in Word Play Online, award-winning poet Tusiata Avia in conversation with Maxine Beneba Clarke, celebrated academic and psychiatrist Hinemoa Elder, Te Reo expert and cultural champion Stacey Morrison, and the delightful Wellington-based spoken word poetry collective Show Ponies at the Metro Theatre.
Dive into the rich and vibrant poetry and writing of Melanesia with Black Salt. Hear the lyrical, urgent voices in Aotearoan poetry in the Land of the Long White Cloud Showcase. Explore storytelling traditions beyond the written page in Weaving on the Terrace and Ta Moko on Māori tattoo.
Reacquaint yourself with three of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s past literary greats through the lens of contemporary writers Christine Leunens, Miro Bilbrough and more on Katherine Mansfield, J.P. Pomare on “Queen of Crime” Ngaio Marsh, and Pip Adam on the inimitable Janet Frame.
Discover new writers, great stories and the beautiful words of the Pacific.