4 Jul 2024

Storytellers, song writers and well-known novelists are set to take over the city at this year’s festival of words.

Tickets are on sale now for the WORD Christchurch Festival, which runs from 27 August to 1 September, with over 100 writers, thinkers and performers taking part.

“Some of the great pleasures of festival-going are discovering new voices, being inspired by fresh ideas and broadening your horizons on issues by listening to local and global experts,” says WORD programme director Kiran Dass.

“I’m thrilled by the depth and diversity of this year’s line-up that includes well-known novelists, award-winning song writers and local and international thinkers and storytellers.”

The festival opens with a celebration of New Zealand author Janet Frame, marking her 100th year to the day by charging five writers to share moments of imagination and courage.

Explore what it means to reclaim Māoritanga from a Pākehā upbringing in Isaac Martyn’s show He Māori?, listen to a reading of Oscar Kightley’s Dawn Raids at Ngā Hau E Wha Marae, and enjoy the internationally acclaimed theatre work The Savage Coloniser Show.

Daisy Speaks at Confluence, image by Johannes van Kan

The festival will have the return of the ever-popular Risky Women, a debate about AI, creativity and the written word, and your chance to chat with cook, caterer and entrepreneur Tina Duncan.

Two of this year’s most talked about writers Talia Marshall and Saraid de Silva appear in events throughout the programme, and as do best-selling writers Tina Makereti, Steve Braunias and Ariana Ngarewa.

Celebrate the idea of ‘better together’ with a range of powerhouse pairings including award-winning creatives Robyn Malcolm and Emily Perkins, passionate conservationists Nicola Toki and Lily Duval, and well-known authors Clair Mabey and Rachael King.

RNZ Afternoon presenter Jesse Mulligan

Join RNZ Afternoon’s presenter Jesse Mulligan for a Reading Party and Radio Hauraki Breakfast DJ and author Matt Heath for a Dad’s Day Brunch, and head along to listen to Australian scientist and communicator Dr Jen Martin to answer your weirdest conundrums.

“Over many years, WORD has developed a unique festival that shares books, stories, performance and community-minded events with our city,” Kiran says.

“With over 20 percent of our programme being free to attend, WORD is for everyone, and we can’t wait to welcome you!”

View the full WORD programme here.