Auckland Writers Festival is returning to the central city from 16 to 21 May with a record line up of 42 international writers, historians, scientists, radicals and thinkers, alongside the world’s largest showcase of New Zealand literary talent.

The 2017 programme is the festival’s most expansive yet, hosting more than 160 writers over six days of ideas, readings, debates, stand-up poetry, literary theatre, children’s writers and free public and family events.

To help you out, we’ve rounded up the 10 events you can’t miss at this year’s Auckland Writers Festival:

1. An Evening with Ian Rankin
Friday 19 March, 7.00pm at ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre

Don’t miss world renowned crime author Ian Rankin in conversation with Mark Sainsbury on Friday 19 March.

2. I Love Dick: Chris Kraus
Saturday 20 May, 3pm at ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre

Described as radical and gossipy when published 20 years ago, writer and critic Chris Kraus’ novel I Love Dick set in NZ and New York, has turned out to have enduring clout, netting fans such as Lena Dunham with its confessional format and its interrogation of misogeny.

3. Talking To My Country: Stan Grant
Friday 19 May, 11.30am at Lower NZI Room, Aotea Centre

Stan Grant’s book is a personal and powerful response to racism in Australia from one of its most successful journalists, and Wiradjuri tribesman. Hear Grant speak about his experiences in conversation with Carol Hirschfeld.

4. The Memory Stones: Caroline Brothers
Saturday 20 May, 1.30pm at Lower NZI Room, Aotea Centre

Caroline Brothers is a former foreign correspondent whose newest book begins with the Argentinean military coup of 1976 and tells the story of the Disappeared. Brothers will be speaking in conversation with Dan Salmon.

5. In The Darkroom: Susan Faludi
Saturday 20 May, 4.30pm at ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre

Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Susan Faludi’s memoirs cover her relationship with her long-estranged father and his gender-reassignment surgery. Don’t miss Faludi in conversation with Noelle McCarthy.

6. The Truth About Language
Saturday 20 May, 10.30am at Heartland Festival Room, Aotea Square

Michael Corballis has spent a career researching the human mind. In this new book he takes on Noam Chomsky and Stephen Jay Gould to argue that language evolved much earlier than generally assumed. He puts his case to Siouxsie Wiles.

7. Fiona Kidman
Sunday 21 May, 6.00pm at ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre

As a writer and advocate Dame Fiona Kidman has contributed an astonishing amount to NZ literature, and is the 2017 Auckland Writers Festival Honoured New Zealand Writer. Don’t miss this special free event, chaired by Paula Morris.

8. POP Poetry: Love Letters in the Square
Tuesday 16 May – Sunday 21 May between 6pm and 9pm

Every evening during Festival week, a combination of live and curated writing will emanate from the mysterious Pop Poetry hut, inspired by the theme ‘Love Letters’. Expect poems, letters, lyrics and other treats.

9. Jane Eyre: An Autobiography
Wednesday 17 May, 2.00pm at Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre

Rebecca Vaughan returns to the Festival for a five star solo retelling of Charlotte Bronte’s gothic subversion of a fairytale romance. Expereince the novel that shocked the Victorians and revolutionised the art of fiction.

10. Hallelujah for Leonard Cohen
Sunday 21 May, 3.00pm at Upper NZI Room, Aotea Centre

In celebration of the revered visionary, novelist, poet and songwriter, Festival writers will select one of Cohen’s works or part thereof, discuss its significance and recite it. Lining up are: Steve Abel (NZ), Caroline Brothers (Australia/France), Denis Johnson (US), Chris Price (NZ), Steve Sem-Sandberg (Sweden).

Click here to browse the full programme and stay tuned for more Auckland Writers Festival announcements in the coming weeks. 

$2 per hour to a max of $12 on weekends and a $12 flat rate for weekday evenings at The Civic car park. Find out more

Last updated: 11 June 2019