17 MAY, 2024, 6PM

Expect hilarity, profundity and the thrill of the pace as writers light up the magnificent heritage buildings around BRITOMART’S TAKUTAI SQUARE with wonderful, surprising, revealing words. Writers appear in unexpected spaces, set to inspire and move you. It’s fast and fun, and will get your brain whirring – there’s so much to take in. Entirely free of charge.


4 x 15 minute simultaneous sessions in bespoke locations from 6-8PM. A 15 minute break between sessions allows enough time to race off to the next venue.

Streetside is for everyone! Whether you're a reader, writer, both, or neither.

View the digital map & programme, here.


Atrium on Takutai

From the mind of Audrey Baldwin, Art Chemist is a cross between an apothecary, a therapist’s office and an arts’ directory. With a roster of the AWF ‘24 events at her fingertips, the Art Chemist is here to soothe your ailments with creative prescriptions and literary cure-alls. Drop by for a one-on-one consultation with Aiwa Pooamorn as your Art Chemist.

  • 6-8PM

Takutai Square

For one night only, Takutai Sqaure is transformed into a wrestling ring where eight randomly selected books enter the literati ThunderDome… and only one leaves. In this hilarious street performance, former WWF wrestling superstar, El Jaguar, brings together his two deepest loves: books & fights. Don’t miss out on the world’s first Book (Fight) Club where book club discussions are followed by a deadly battle between some of our favourite reads.

  • 6:15 – 6:45 Round 1
  • 7:15 – 7:45 Round 2

Rocketman, 10 Roukai Lane

Eight writers share the moment they realized they were ‘reading beyond their age’... Saraid de Silva, Rachael King, Sam Orchard, Nathan Joe, James Wenley, Jess Karamjeet and romesh dissanayake will be your confessors for the evening, alongside event curator Claudia Jardine as MC.

  • 6:00-6:15 Rachael King & Jess Karamjeet
  • 6:30-6:45 Sam Orchard & James Wenley
  • 7:00-7:15 Saraid de Silva & Nathan Joe
  • 7:30-7:45 romesh dissanayake & Claudia Jardine

Spacefor, 52 Tyler Street

What would you tell your younger self if you had the chance? Four spoken word poets perform works in response to Marcus Mackenzie’s award-winning poem, A Letter to My Younger Self. If you feel inspired while listening to the performers – envelopes and paper will be available to write your own letter, with an open mic at the end of the night to read your work. Led by Marcus Mackenzie, and featuring performances from Tim Heath, Jess Rayner, Talia Stanley, Ngaio Simmons.

  • 6:00-6:15 Marcus Mackenzie
  • 6:30-6:45 Tim Heath & Talia Stanley
  • 7:00-7:15 Jess Rayner & Ngaio Simmons
  • 7:30-7:45 Marcus Mackenzie
  • 7:45-7:30 Open Mic

Britomart Panels

This collaboration between internationally renowned UK climate poetry activist collective, Hot Poets and dynamic Māori & Pacific poets based in Tāmaki Makaurau captures the effects of the climate emergency on tangata whenua and tangata moana. Supported by The British Council Connections Through Culture Grant and curated by Zech Soakai, read through the powerful words of four emerging Pacific storytellers who are writing at the intersection of arts and activism. Featuring works from: Kapitania Funaki, Simaima Palei, Luani Nansen and AigagalefiliFepulea’i-Tapua’I.

Valet Parking, opposite Takutai Square

Eight authors from the recently released Te Awa o Kupu anthology come together to perform their work. With originality and insight, these poems illuminate the vibrant writing of contemporary Māori authors. Hear from Kiri Piahana-Wong, Vaughan Rapatahana, Arihia Latham, Amber Esau, Jessie Puru, Briar Wood, Robert Sullivan and essa may ranapiri.

  • 6:00-6:15 Kiri Piahana-Wong & essa may ranapiri
  • 6:30-6:45 Arihia Latham & Robert Sullivan
  • 7:00-7:15 Jessie Puru & Briar Wood
  • 7:30-7:45 Amber Esau & Vaughan Rapatahana

Hayman Kronfeld Building Lobby — 15 Galway Street

Five writers have been deep in the documentary archives of the Auckland Museum exploring the theme of landscapes, memory and history. They emerge for one night only to perform an original new piece inspired by something they found (or did not find) there. Be sure to pick up a free zine of their work to take away too! Hear from Selina Tusitala Marsh, Jade Kake, Michel Mulipola and Tsitsi Mapepa, peppered with activities by MC Dominic Hoey. 

  • 6:00 – 6:15 Dominic Hoey
  • 6:15 – 6:30 Jade Kake
  • 6:45 – 7:00 Selina Tusitala Marsh
  • 7:15 – 7:30 Tsitsi Mapepa
  • 7:45 – 8:00 Michel Mulipola

Daily Bread, 13 Galway Street

Award-winning author and Better Off Read Podcasthost Pip Adam is here to interview four writers about anything…except their books. Through a series of unhinged quick-fire questions (and a buzzer in case writing or books are brought up), learn all about your favourite authors beyond what they write. Chris Tse, Airana Ngarewa, Jan Kemp, Shilo Kino take to the stage fueled by croissants and coffee.

  • 6:00 – 6:15 Airana Ngarewa
  • 6:30 – 6:45 Jan Kemp 
  • 7:00 – 7:15 Shilo Kino 
  • 7:30 – 7:45 Chris Tse

Park for $2 per hour at the Downtown car park to a maximum of $15 on evenings and weekends. Find out more

Last updated: 22 March 2023