Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Writers from the ground up

It struck me at the CHCH Earthquake Event readings how few opportunities there are for writers and readers to interact in Auckland. The festivals now are mostly filled with international guests, and a lot of events around journalism, sports writing, magazines.

It was interesting to hear people read from and talk about their projects, some of which were non-fiction insights into areas of NZ life that are rarely explored. It was also a great opportunity for writers who hadn't read in public to 'road test' their stories.

I'm thinking we wait too much for other people to organize festivals on a large scale, when we could be doing more frequent events on a smaller scale, and not wait until one of us has a new book out.

The folk festival/poetry live model is a good one. Flaxroots events to connect the work, its creator, and the audience.

1 comment:

  1. Back in the late 1980's and the beginning of the 90's the Warkworth Performance Cafe was started which was held fortnightly, from 7.30 pm - 10.00 in a Warkworth cafe which we had arranged the use of in exchange for a nominal rent, returning it as we found it, plus promoting them in our advertising. All emerging artistes were invited to come with something they wished to share and were given a 10 minute spot. Any non-artiste was welcome to come and listen and have an evening out. It was non-profit and there was a $3 cover charge which included a hot drink and a biscuit in the interval. Sometimes we also invited in various guests, Hone Tuwhare being one of the most memorable. We had great evenings with upwards of 20 - 30 people a night. It stayed loose, informal and family friendly with everything from poetry, jazz, folk singing, gospel singing, excerpts of novels in progress, to recitation, to comedy; and it stayed like that for a couple of years before it morphed into various structures and venues under changing hosts before it closed. I believe there is something similar re-started recently but it is more of a nightclub performance for an upmarket restaurant.