Writers on Mondays


From mid-July to October each year, the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML), home of Victoria University of Wellington's renowned creative writing programme, runs a series of events highlighting writers active in and around Wellington, as well as guests from overseas.

Sessions take place on Mondays at lunchtime, with additional evening events from time to time.

Writers on Mondays is a stimulating way to start the working week – and it's free!

The 2017 Writers on Mondays events are listed in full below. You can also download the programme (496KB PDF). Previous year's programmes are also available to download at the bottom of this page.

Writers on Mondays is presented with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, National Poetry Day and Circa Theatre.

Events run Monday 12.15 - 1.15pm on The Marae, Level 4, Te Papa with the exception of the opening concert at Meow (Tuesday 11 July at Meow) and the Short Sharp Script sessions at Circa Theatre.

Admission is free, all welcome.

No food may be taken onto the Te Papa Marae.

2017 programme

Tuesday 11 July Special Event: Tell Me My Name

5.30PM at MEOW, 9 Edward Street.

To launch the 2017 Writers on Mondays programme in style, we are delighted to present this special opportunity to see the first Wellington performance of Tell Me My Name, Bill Manhire's sequence of thirteen riddle poems, set to music by composer Norman Meehan and performed by vocalist Hannah Griffin and violinist Martin Riseley. The music starts at 6, but be there early to secure a place!

17 July The Wish Child: Catherine Chidgey

Writers on Mondays begins with fiction writer and multiple award winner Catherine Chidgey. Chidgey's first three novels achieved international acclaim. Her much anticipated fourth novel The Wish Child won the 2017 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards and is published internationally this year. Set in Germany in 1939,The Wish Child is a profound meditation on the wreckage caused by a corrupt ideology, on the resilience of the human spirit, and on crimes that cannot be undone. Join novelist Kate Duignan in a discussion about this intelligent and lyrical book and Chidgey's writing career to date.

24 July Stella! Charlotte Wood in conversation with Emily Perkins

The Australian has described Charlotte Wood as one of the country's 'most original and provocative writers.' She is the author of five novels and two books of non-fiction. Her latest novel, The Natural Way of Things, won the 2016 Stella Prize, the 2016 Indie Book of the Year and Novel of the Year, and was joint winner of the Australian Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction. It has been published in Britain and the US as well as many countries in Europe. In 2016 Charlotte was named the Charles Perkins Centre's inaugural Writer in Residence at the University of Sydney. Charlotte is joined in conversation by novelist Emily Perkins to discuss just what fiction can do in these troubling times, and what it is to write into the world from Australasia.

31 July The Little Death of Self: Marianne Boruch

American poet Marianne Boruch notes that 'Both poetry and the essay come from the same impulse—to think about something and at the same time, see it closely, carefully, and enact it.' A recent poetry collection Cadaver, Speak, sees her in the dissection room considering the ravages and resilience of the body, and in her new essay collection The Little Death of Self, Boruch's restless curiosity ranges across science, music, medicine and art, asking questions such as 'Why does the self grow smaller as the poem grows enormous?' She is joined by poet and essayist Chris Price to explore how her poetry and essays approach the big topics of love, death and human knowledge.

7 August Poetry Quartet: Louise Wallace, Hannah Mettner, Maria McMillan & Airini Beautrais

These poets write works of boldness and acute observation. Louise Wallace's Bad Things, Hannah Mettner's Fully Clothed and So Forgetful, Maria McMillan'sThe Ski Flier and Flow by Airini Beautrais are diverse and exciting books of poetry. Each writer engages with language in innovative ways to explore and reimagine history, commerce, science, love and the things people do. Come and hear the latest New Zealand poetry in a reading and discussion chaired by poet and novelist Anna Smaill.

14 August Hopeful animals

In Tracy Farr's new novel The Hope Fault, a weekend that unfolds in real time bookends 100 years which include events from the 'real' world. Damien Wilkins' Lifting takes place in the weeks leading up to the close of a Wellington department store and has been described as 'an intense exploration of the moment when the solid ground of a life is taken away'. Pip Adam's The New Animals walks the streets of Auckland city now, examining the fashion scene. All three novels weave real and imagined events together, offering new ways to understand the present moment. Join novelist and short story writer William Brandt in a discussion with these writers about their work and why the novel continues to provide a vital lens on contemporary life.

21 August Best New Zealand Poems 2016

Best New Zealand Poems is published annually by Victoria University's International Institute of Modern Letters. Get ready for Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day (on 25 August) by coming along to hear thirteen of the best read work chosen by Best New Zealand Poems 2016 editor Jenny Bornholdt – and be sure to visit www.bestnewzealandpoems.co.nz to view the full selection. Poets Nick Ascroft, James Brown, John Dennison, Adrienne Jansen, Bill Manhire, Bill Nelson, Claire Orchard, Kerrin P. Sharpe, Oscar Upperton, Marty Smith, Tim Upperton, Airini Beautrais and Ashleigh Young are introduced by Jenny Bornholdt.

28 August The Fuse Box

The Fuse Box is a brand new collection of essays and interviews with some of our best writers that aims to shine fresh light on the creative process.This event assembles some of the book's contributors to explore issues relevant to all stages of the writing life: how to get started and what to write about, how to keep the flow going over time, freedom and constraint, how your writing might meet the world, and how to make the most of accidents. Playwright Gary Henderson, novelists Rajorshi Chakraborti and Elizabeth Knox, and poet James Brown join editors Chris Price and Emily Perkins to celebrate the launch of The Fuse Box.

4 September Victor Rodger and friends

We are thrilled to have acclaimed playwright Victor Rodger as the Victoria University/Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence for 2017. Victor has assembled a panel of writers to explore how the work of others can inspire and challenge. Join Mitch Tawhi Thomas, Moana Ete, Jamie McCaskill and Faith Wilson in conversation about creative communities.

11 September The Next Page 1

A wonderful opportunity to hear a fresh mix of poetry and prose by the current cohort of writers in the Master of Arts in Creative Writing Programme at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters. Maria SamuelaRebecca ReaderAnthony LapwoodJacqueline JenkinsLinda CollinsMia GaudinEssa RanapiriFrank SinclairTayi Tibble and Kirsten Griffiths  are introduced by Emily Perkins.

18 September The Next Page 2

Part Two of the popular Next Page sessions features readings from MA in Creative Writing students Rebecca PriestleyNicole ColmarSarah Scott, Antonia BaleClaire O'LoughlinLynne RobertsonSudha RaoSharon LamSam Duckor-Jones and Clare Moleta. Introduced by Chris Price.

25 September Short Sharp Script 1: Circa Theatre

Actors perform dynamic new scripts by MA in Creative Writing students Courtney Brown, Kate Burney, Madeline Bush, Lindsay Christopherson and Fleur Cogle. Introduced by Ken Duncum.

2 October Short Sharp Script 2: Circa Theatre

More exciting work in progress from the second group of MA scriptwriters, at Circa Theatre. This week:Ricky Dey, Ricardo Giraldo, Sarah Harpur, Sarita So and Jonathan Watt. Introduced by Ken Duncum.

Writers on Mondays is presented with:

Te Papa Tongarewa logoNational Poetry Day 2017 logoCirca Theatre logo

Previous writers on Mondays programmes