Friday 19 May Various Times 6.30 - 8pm
Credit Nigel Dagar Media

Top talent feature in a wandering literary word trail up High Street. Sensible shoes are not required but expect readings, games, Insta-essays, music and poetry and allow for some downright thoughtful entertainment. Watch out and listen up for street performances by the Walk on High Choir, plus other activities, over the night, too.

Study the session outlines below and plan your route around the schedule. Venues are not large but each fifteen minute event will run four times, so you have multiple chances to sample. Simply pick a place to start and go from there.

At the Hotel
Hotel DeBrett / 2 Hight Street

Meet in the foyer of Hotel DeBrett and be welcomed into Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries, live. Last Tapes Theatre Company treat you to a performance of a crucial scene from this Booker Award-winning novel.

Times: 6.30pm, 6.55pm, 7.20pm, 7.45pm

In the Dark & Say it to my Face
Michael Holmes Optometrist and Trainers / 5 High Street

This double-whammy session is designed to activate your senses. First, descend into the quieter, dimmer world of Michael Holmes Optometrist. It’s dark down there with the lights off. Turn your eyes down and your ears up and catch the sound of poetry performed live by one of Michele Leggott, Glenn Colquhoun, Selina Tusitala Marsh or Apirana Taylor. Next, tread over the hallway to Trainers and open up your eyes where you’ll find Randa, Simone Kaho, Rewa Worley or Tourettes.

Times: 6.30pm, 6.55pm, 7.20pm, 7.45pm

Eight Thirsty Coffee / 35 High Street

“.. what is then interesting is to find, in that continuity, the less-obvious: the signs, the markings, the assemblages, the things hiding in plain sight in each cityscape” - Teju Cole

Three writers per session reveal their Instagram images taken somewhere in Auckland at either 8.30am or 8.30pm inspired by Teju’s quote, with an Insta-essay to accompany it.

The writer lineup includes Mei-Lin Hansen, Ali Ikram, Lana Lopesi, Teju Cole, Anthony Byrt, Sonja Yelich, Doug Poole, Sarah Laing, Ian Wedde, Steven Toussaint, Rosabel Tan and Jonothan Cullinane.

Times: 6.30pm, 6.55pm, 7.20pm, 7.45pm

Couture Karaoke
Tango / 55 Little High Street

Jess Holly Bates (Auckward Love, Real Fake White Dirt) hosts Couture Karaoke, a clothes-loving game where the audience bring writing and writers to life. Come prepared to draw a choice couture-related quote out of one hat, and a well-known literary character out of another. Read in character and enjoy the applause. Spot prizes to be won, moments to be remembered. To pre-register your gameness, email (for the scaredy cats - you can always just watch and provide the applause, and you can participate in pairs). Note, there may not be time for everyone who enters to perform, but life’s a gamble so do it in style.

Times: 6.30pm, 6.55pm, 7.20pm, 7.45pm

Top tip: Hotel DeBrett is the perfect spot for a pre-drink to get you fuelled and ready on your feet; at the conclusion make your way up to the Heartland Festival Room in Aotea Square which will be operating as a bar from 8.30pm with a free Festival Salon event starting around 9.30pm.

Supported by Auckland Council


Park for $2 per hour, to a maximum of $10 on evenings and weekends at the Victoria St car park. Find out more.

Last updated: 11 June 2019