Five must-see sessions at WORD Christchurch

50 Years of Witi Ihimaera — 4.30 pm, Sunday 27 August

Rangatira of Aotearoa literature and a non-stop force of writing, re-writing and collection editing, Witi is a national treasure. He’ll have the whole session to kōrero with Arihia Latham and we’re certain his presence and prowess will mean throughout the session you’ll be able to hear a pin drop in The Piano auditorium.

Catherine Chidgey: Pet — 10.30am, Sunday 27 August

While the session title includes the author’s latest novel Pet, we’re sure the award-winning The Axeman’s Carnival will get a mention as the prolific, and prodigiously talented, Catherine Chidgey chats with Liz Grant across this hour-long session. We’ve heard Tama the Magpie will make sure of it.

Fiction, Three Ways — 10.30am, Friday 25 August

It’s been a bumper year for local fiction, with a trio of powerhouse writers — Carl Nixon, Emily Perkins and Fiona Farrell — all releasing great novels in 2023. Between them there will be no shortage of themes to cover with WORD co-founder Morrin Rout, from writing family conflict, to historical inspiration, or simply the art of good old fashioned storytelling.

Not Set in Stone: David Vass — 2.30pm, Friday 25 August

Ōtautahi is the gateway to the great outdoors, with mountains and sea a short drive in any direction. Alpine enthusiast and former WORD Programme Director Nic Low (Ngāi Tahu) talks with David Bass and unpacks how you keep that passion alive, even where those rugged beauties have almost killed you.

Desert Island Dishes — 1pm, Sunday 27 August

Two of our favourite things — podcasts and cookbooks — unite for this special panel, inspired (and endorsed) by podcaster Margie Nomura and her podcast of the same name. Cookbook writers and foodies Jax Hamilton and The Two Raw Sisters join chef Alex Davies of The Gatherings restaurant to talk dream dishes with Melody Thomas.

As chosen by Executive Director Steph Walker, AKA (she says) the least well-read person in the office (ed note: the well-read bar is set pretty high in the WORD team) .