The New Zealand Young Writers Festival celebrates the cutting edge of contemporary literary practice in Ōtepoti, with performances, workshops, conversations, markets, social events and more. The festival is funded by Dunedin City Council and Otago Community Trust. This live-recorded podcast is brought to you by Otago Access Radio and supported by Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature.
Slam Champ Sandwich
What does it take to be a slam champ? What are the strange anecdotes and stories? And what is it like to compete with the country’s best of the best? Our country’s finest slam champions – Nathan Joe, Sara Hirsch, and Eric Soakai share their winning poems and spill the hot behind the scenes tea of what goes on during slam off. Past winners gossip and rant about what makes such a community-driven but competitive sport so enticing.
Earlier this year, Metro Arts editor, Lana Lopesi wondered “where all the bad reviews have gone” as the once highly valued art writing website The Lumiere Reader slowly disappeared from the internet, leaving only a gentle footprint. In this panel, art critics across different mediums – Mya Morrison-Middleton, Sinead Overbye, Essa May Ranapiri and Samuel Te Kani – discuss the very nature of criticism. Who or what is criticism for? Who should critique who? And is Aotearoa too small for robust criticism?
James Joyce’s perverse love letters reveal that the terms ‘literary genius’ and ‘smut peddler’ are far from mutually exclusive. What do Aotearoa’s new generation of young writers – Josiah Morgan, Essa May Ranapiri, Samuel Te Kani, and Rebecca Hawkes – have to say about the fine line between erotic and profane?
Otago Poetry Slam
Open to slam poets of any age, with the winner being sponsored to represent Otago at the National Slam. The competition will be conducted in accordance with the rules of the National Slam, and poets may be required to read up to three poems. With your MC Sara Hirsch and calibration poet Eric Soakai.
You, Me, Her and The Sea
As triplet sisters clear the family attic after a shared heartbreak, old memories, buried secrets, and deep-set grudges are forced to the surface. A new drama by local playwright Amy Wright, written for her Honours year at the University of Otago, with the assistance of Amanda Martin.
Playright After 25
These playwrights were once young and hungry, ‘before twenty-five,’ and heralded as the future of this country’s playwriting. What happened next, and where are they now? Examining the grey area between ‘emerging’ and ‘emerged’, award-winning playwrights Ben Wilson, Amy Wright, and Nathan Joe who have come through Playmarket’s b425 competition, discuss the realities of being young playwrights in contemporary Aotearoa.
Climate Poetry Here and Now
Climate change poetry is hot hot hot. With No Other Place to Stand: An Anthology of Climate Change Poetry from Aotearoa New Zealand recently published by AUP and the UNESCO Cities of Literature combining forces for The Heat is On: Young Writers on the Climate Crisis, is there a single bigger issue for young writers today? Rebecca Hawkes chairs a panel discussion with readings, featuring Sinead Overbye, Shima Jack and Zinnia Hansen (from the United States).