I want to express my gratitude to everyone who participated in the writers and poets fundraiser for Christchurch held in Auckland libraries last Friday(25th). The weather was wet and miserable but the generosity and integrity of the writers was heartwarming.
I attended two events (Henderson at 1pm and Remuera at 6pm) and have heard reports from friends who went to other libraries. The general consensus is that the quality of the writers and their readings/performance was superb. The only disappointment expressed was that the audiences were often small.
It is always difficult in Auckland to organise 'literary' events, particularly ones that celebrate and promote local writers(although there have been some notable exceptions to this, for example, some of the events organised by the The Women's Bookshop in Ponsonby - perhaps their secret is the newsletter and network they have developed and promoted over many years).
The public often seem to prefer the glamour and glitz of international writers rather than supporting New Zealand ones - evidence of this is in the huge numbers who go the Auckland Writers and Readers festival rather than to the the equally excellent Going West festival held each September in Titirangi.
A spin off from the events held on Friday has been a sense of excitement and appreciation of the fine work our local writers do and a need to hear more from them.