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 2018 Writers on Mondays events are listed in full below. You can also download the programme (2,071KB PDF). Previous years' programmes are 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 two Short Sharp Script sessions at Circa Theatre.

Admission is free, all welcome.

No food may be taken onto Te Papa Marae.

2018 programme

16 July: The graphic world of Dylan Horrocks

We are thrilled to have renowned comics creator and illustrator Dylan Horrocks as the Victoria University/Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence for 2018. Celebrated for his ground-breaking book Hicksville, Horrocks' other works include Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen, and Incomplete Works. Hicksville was ranked #12 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 50 Best Non-Superhero Graphic Novels of All Time. Horrocks has also written comics for Vertigo and DC Comics. Writers on Mondays begins with a tour of Horrocks' world through words and pictures, including a sneak preview of his current project, a graphic novel about playing Dungeons & Dragons.

23 July - From Wellington to the world: Kate Duignan and Rajorshi Chakraborti

Kate Duignan's new novel The New Ships is set in Wellington after the fall of the Twin Towers, and traverses London, Europe and the Indian subcontinent. In Rajorshi Chakraborti's fifth novel The Man Who Would Not See a man travels from small-town India to Wellington with the apparent objective of blowing up every part of his younger brother’s life. These novels have their feet in Wellington but spread their stories out into the world. Join Damien Wilkins in a discussion with these writers about writing from Wellington to the world.

30 July - Winter Eyes: Harry Ricketts

A poet, editor, biographer, critic and academic, Harry Ricketts teaches English literature and creative writing at Victoria University of Wellington. He has published over thirty books, including the internationally acclaimed The Unforgiving Minute: A Life of Rudyard Kipling (1999), How to Catch a Cricket Match (2006) and Strange Meetings: The Lives of the Poets of the Great War (2010). His eleventh and most recent collection Winter Eyes, has been described as 'Poetry as comfort, poetry as confrontation'. These are elegiac and bittersweet poems of friendship, of love's stranglehold, of the streets and buildings where history plays out. Harry is joined by editor and Victoria University Professor of English Jane Stafford to discuss his latest work.

6 August - Poetry Quartet: Therese Lloyd, Tayi Tibble, Chris Tse and Sam Duckor-Jones

These poets write works of boldness with an acute eye on relationships in the modern world. Therese Lloyd's The Facts, Poūkahangatus by Tayi Tibble (Te Whānau ā Apanui/Ngāti Porou), He's So MASC by Chris Tse and People from the Pit Stand Up by Sam Duckor-Jones are diverse and exciting books of poetry. Each writer engages with language in innovative ways to explore and reimagine love, trust, intimacy and the politics of being. Come and hear the new wave of New Zealand poets in a reading and discussion chaired by poet and essayist Chris Price.

13 August - Pasture and Flock: Anna Jackson

Pastoral yet gritty, intellectual and witty, sweet but with stings in their tails, the poems and sequences collected in the careerspanning new book Pasture and Flock are essential reading for both long-term and new admirers of Anna Jackson's slanted approach to lyric poetry. Jackson made her debut in AUP New Poets 1 before publishing six collections with Auckland University Press, most recently I, Clodia, and Other Portraits (2014). Her collection Thicket (2011) was shortlisted for the New Zealand Post Book Awards in 2012. As an academic, Jackson has had an equally extensive career authoring and editing works of literary criticism. She is joined by poet and publisher Helen Rickerby for an exploration of her career as poet, essayist and critic.

20 August - Best New Zealand Poems 2017

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 24 August) by coming along to hear eight of the best read work selected for Best New Zealand Poems – and be sure to visit www.bestnewzealandpoems.org.nz to view the full selection. Poets Airini Beautrais, Chris Tse, Marty Smith, Liz Breslin, Greg Kan, Makyla Curtis, Jamie Trower and Hannah Mettner are introduced by Best New Zealand Poems series editor Chris Price.

27 August -  The Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke

Tina Makereti is a fiction writer who has also been recognised for her non-fiction, winning the Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing (Non-fiction) in 2009. She has twice won the Fiction award at the Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Awards, first in 2011 for her short-story collection Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa, and again in 2014 for her debut novel Where the Rēkohu Bone Sings. Makereti is joined by fiction writer Lawrence Patchett to discuss her new novel The Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke, about an orphaned son of a chief, ardent student of English, and wide-eyed survivor who travels to London in 1846. All the world's a stage, especially when you're a living exhibit.

3 September - Feel the heat with Gigi Fenster and Megan Dunn

Feverish: A Memoir by Gigi Fenster and Megan Dunn's Tinderbox take a punk approach to the conventions of autobiography. In an attempt to break free from rationality and make her life a work of art, novelist and writing teacher Fenster decides to induce a fever in herself; the resulting memoir takes in apartheid South Africa and complex family dynamics. Dunn writes about the end of reading and her attempted rewrite of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, which is derailed while she works at failing bookseller chain Borders; the memoir has been described as 'comic genius'. Novelist Emily Perkins chairs this discussion on writing about the self, books and heat.

10 September - The Next Page 1

A wonderful opportunity to hear a fresh mix of prose and poetry by the current cohort of writers in the Master of Arts in Creative Writing Programme at Victoria University's International Institute of Modern Letters. Alie Benge, Cassandra Barnett, Caiomhe McKeogh, Glenda Lewis, Michelle Rahurahu Scott, Susanne Jungersen, James Pasley, Catherine Russ and Max Olijnyk are introduced by Chris Price.

17 September - Short Sharp Script 1: Circa Theatre

Actors perform dynamic new work by MA scriptwriting students from the IIML. This week scripts by Dana Leaming, Vincent Konrad, Laura Robinson, and Finn Shepherd are introduced by Ken Duncum.

24 September - Short Sharp Script 2: Circa Theatre

More exciting work in progress from the second group of IIML scriptwriters, at Circa Theatre. This week the spotlight falls on work from Matasila Freshwater, Dylan Conen, Julia Ludbrook, and Ralph McCubbin Howell. Introduced by Ken Duncum.

1 October - The Next Page 2

Part Two of the popular Next Page sessions features readings from Andrei Seleznev, Charlotte Forrester, Sinead Overbye, Tim Grgec, Johanna Knox, Anna Rankin, Laura Southgate, Madison Hamill, Tracey Schuyt and Rose Lu, introduced by Emily Perkins.

8 October - Kate Camp: Menton, memoir and me (Soundings Theatre, Te Papa)

Memoir writing raises interesting questions – of fact and fiction, ethics and ego, what one remembers, and what one chooses to reveal. In this special event, a late addition to Writers on Mondays, 2017 Katherine Mansfield Fellow Kate Camp examines a more difficult and profound question – who cares? Who could possibly give a damn about the details of someone else's life? Drawing on her own work and that of other New Zealand writers, Camp’s lecture is an entertaining, insightful, and at times deeply personal exploration of the 'point' of writing memoir. (Originally delivered as the Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture, initiated by Waikato University with the support of the Friends of Hamilton Library.)
Please note the change of venue for this special addition to our programme.

Writers on Mondays is presented with:

Te Papa Tongarewa logoNational Poetry Day 2017 logoCirca Theatre logo

Previous writers on Mondays programmes