Wai-te-Ata Press

Past Events

Making Transpositions Visible: New Zealand Poetry in Letterpress

Date: 26 August 2016

Time: 10.00 am

Venue: Wai-te-ata Press, Room 006 Rankine Brown, Gate 3, Kelburn Parade, Kelburn Campus, Wellington 6012

Unleash the power of poetry through lead, ink and paper. Come for an hour, be converted for life; National Poetry Day is your opportunity to taste the letterpress revival for free at Wai-te-ata Press. In conjunction with Transpositions: Celebrating NZ Poetry in Translation, guests are encouraged to bring one line from a NZ woman poet to typeset. The lines will be compiled into a collaborative ‘found’ poem and printed as an A3 poster at the end of the day. Guests will receive a copy of their creation to help keep letterpress alive.

Entry details: Free, drop in for an hour from 10am until 3pm

Contact: Sydney Shep, sydney.shep@vuw.ac.nz

This event is part of National Poetry Day celebrations.

Entrenchments 2015: Exhibition

Date: 28 April – 15 June 2015

Time: 5.30 pm

Entrenchments 2015 aimed to translate conflict into art. At the end of a month of individual projects, small workshops, and public events, that art can now be engaged with as a whole in Wai-te-ata Press's exhibition space.


 Cover of In Flanders Fields zine by Julian Peters

Julian Peters, an artist in residence who travelled from Canada to contribute to the project, created illustrated responses to the World War I war diary of Lt. Col. William Malone; to In Flanders Fields by John McCrae; and to selected poems by Vincent O'Sullivan.

Meanwhile, Sarah Laing, an accomplished Kiwi novelist and artist, drew inspiration from Patricia Grace's novel Tu for a series of comics and illustrations.

Examples of illustrations by Sarah Laing 


And Victoria University passersby were invited to become participants in an ambitious zine-making project whose subject was In Flanders Fields - earlier translated  into multiple languages through a series of translation workshops.


We thank the Canadian High Commission and Victoria University for making this possible, and hope that you will come to the foyer outside RB006 to see, or hear, the echoes of these creative conversations.



Zines of Peace / Scenes of Peace: World's Longest Zine Fest

Date: 22–28 April 2015

Time: 8.00 am

As part of the Entrenchments 2015 project, Wai-te-ata Press is hosting the world's longest zine-making fest, entitled Zines/Scenes of Peace, 22-28 April at Victoria University of Wellington's Kelburn campus.

With support from the Canadian High Commission, this is an open event where the public and especially Victoria students, staff, and visitors are encouraged to contribute creative responses and reflections about war, peace, memory and hope to large paper sheets posted around campus. These sheets will be pre-printed with John McCrae's famous WWI poem "In Flanders Fields" and the first ever te reo Māori translation by Hone Apanui.

These sheets, along with explanatory and writing materials, will be posted in three locations: on the Murphy-Kirk Overbridge; Level 3 of the Rankine Brown Library; and the northeast corner of the Hub.

We warmly invite all passersby to become active participants, share with us your thoughts, and help create a giant zine to be exhibited at Wai-te-ata Press from 28 April 2015.

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THATCamp Wellington 2013

Date: 28 November 2013

Time: 8.30 am

Venue: Railway Station, Pipitea Campus, Victoria University of Wellington

The Humanities and Technology Camp is an open, informal unconference where people come together to make connections, learn new skills and discuss opportunities and challenges. To find out more visit THATCamp W13

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Artistic Printing

Date: 26–30 January 2015

Time: 9.00 am

Event: Australasian Rare Books Summer School
Course tutors: Marty Vreede, Senior Lecturer in Printmaking, Quay School of the Arts, Whanganui and Sydney Shep, Reader in Book History and Director of Wai-te-ata Press, VUW
Venue: Wai-te-ata Press, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand

A 5-day, jointly-taught, advanced letterpress studio exploring innovative techniques in contemporary printmaking as well as looking back to the nineteenth-century artistic printing movement. This course is tailored for practicing letterpress printers who will work with the tutors in advance to scope out a programme to satisfy their needs.

For more information visit the RBSS 2015 website

Geographic Information Systems for Digital Humanities

Date: 26–30 January 2015

Time: 9.00 am

Event: Australasian Rare Books Summer School
Course tutor: Ian Gregory, Professor of Digital Humanities, Lancaster University, UK
Venue: Kelburn campus, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand

This 5-day course offers an introduction to the theory and practice of using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the digital humanities. The course will be relevant to all humanities researchers who are interested in the geographies that their sources may hold, or whose research questions are geographical in nature. You will have an opportunity to work on your own data and participate in a group project. We do not assume any familiarity with GIS although a good level of general competence with computers is helpful.

For more information visit the RBSS 2015 website

History of Cartography/Maps

Date: 26–30 January 2015

Time: 9.00 am

Event: Australasian Rare Books Summer School
Course tutor: Julie Sweetkind-Singer, Assistant Director of Geospatial, Cartographic and Scientific Data & Services, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford University
Venue: Victoria University of Wellington and National Library, Wellington, New Zealand

This 5-day course is designed to provide a general overview of the history of maps as well as their use in modern day teaching and research. No previous experience is necessary. Topics will include:

  • The production and use of maps
  • The rise of the map trade in Europe and America
  • The role of maps as cultural and social objects
  • The wide variety and types of maps produced
  • Conservation issues
  • The role of museums and libraries as stewards of the content

For more information visit the RBSS 2015 website

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Exhibitions and Performances

Daily Despatches

Date: 30 March – 30 April 2015

Time: 11.00 am

Venue: RB007

Julian at work on the first Despatch art response, with onlookers.


Canadian illustrator Julian Peters responds to daily tweets from Lt.Col. Malone’s WWI Gallipoli diary with glass panel sketches, captured in video, with still images tweeted out via #joinjulian.

You can watch Julian work each weekday between 11am and 11:15am outside Rankine Brown 007 between 30 March and 30 April, with a gap over Victoria University's Easter holidays.

Variations in location will be announced over Twitter.

This event is part of the Entrenchments 2015 project.

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Public Lectures

D.F. McKenzie Lecture

Date: 22 March 2012

Time: 5.30 pm

Venue: Hunter Council Chamber

Leslie Howsam  

Professor Leslie Howsam, University of Windsor, CANADA delivers the 2012 McKenzie Lecture entitled:

New Zealanders of the Mind:
Using McKenzie’s Methods to Study Macaulay’s Readers

D. F. McKenzie has inspired a generation of book historians in various disciplines with his capacious concept of a “sociology of texts.” Drawing on his own experience of the Wai-te-ata Press and research in archives, McKenzie identified as “printers of the mind” some 18th century workers who did not exist outside the imagination of scholars who inferred their existence from limited evidence. He documented their labour processes as printers working in a social network with other book people. Leslie Howsam applies these ideas to the study of history, and in particular to the question of how readers received Thomas Babington Macaulay’s History of England and other contemporary works in an age of empire. One sort of imagined New Zealander could be inferred from references in school histories to “wild” and “savage” people; another was produced by Macaulay’s own evocation of a visitor from the distant colonial future, who would be to modern Britain what a Victorian was to ancient Rome.

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Reimagining In Flanders Fields

Date: 8–17 April 2015

Time: 11.30 am

Venue: RB007 and RB006


Black and white image with red poppies in a field

"Reimagining In Flanders Fields" is a set of creative translation workshops for Victoria students, focusing on John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Fields, led by postgraduate students and staff from the School of Languages and Cultures.

Workshops will run from 11:30am to 12:30pm on the 8th, 9th, 10th, 13th, 14th, 16th, and 17th of April in Rankine Brown 006 and 007. They are run on a drop-in basis and participants do not need to book in advance.

"Reimagining In Flanders Fields" will be followed by "The World's Longest Zine-fest."

This event is part of the Entrenchments 2015 project.


Hackfest: Visualising Correspondence Networks

Date: 2–3 September 2013

Time: 8.30 am

Venue: Kelburn campus, Victoria University

The recent availability of digitized letters, diaries, and journals has opened the door to new ways of data-mining, analyzing and visualizing the often complex, multi-person, multi-sited social networks embedded in texts. This two-day workshop explores the field of network analysis as it relates to historic correspondence.

eResearch and NZ-RED

Date: 2–3 December 2011

Time: 9.00 am

Venue: AM 103 and virtually via the KAREN network

The NZ-RED project is being launched with a two-day workshop on the occasion of the visit of the UK-RED team and the official hand-over of the Reading Experience Database project software. We are bringing together various eResearch experts and subject specialists to help share resources and build project capability.


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