A multimedia collaboration featuring leading musicians, novelists and poets will be one of the highlights of this year's Going West Books and Writers Festival.
Moana Maniapoto joins forces with electronic music producer Paddy Free for the first New Zealand performance by Tu, who have already appeared in festivals in Finland and Taiwan. The duo mixes mōteatea (sung poetry) with dub, chanting with drum and bass, English and te reo Māori
Going West festival programme director Nicola Strawbridge says Tu is in demand overseas and will make for a unique opening night event for the annual festival's weekend, from Friday, September 14 to Sunday, September 16.
Other highlights include appearances by acclaimed NZ writer Dame Fiona Kidman, who will discuss her new novel This Mortal Boy, and Weekend Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly, who talks about her soon-to-be-released book The F Word. Fellow Herald writer Steve Braunias interviews father and daughter literary powerhouses CK Stead and Charlotte Grimshaw.
Poet Serie Barford will give the Curnow Reading while novelist Paula Morris delivers the Festival's keynote address as the Sir Graham Douglas Orator.
Where in the world we're heading seems to be a festival theme, with journalists Russell Brown and Toby Manhire exploring where the digital word is taking us, psychology professor and activist Niki Harré inviting audiences to imagine the world anew and Dr Jo Cribb and Vincent Heeringa discussing what we should celebrate and what we should be concerned about in our ever-changing technological future.
But the past won't be forgotten with novelist and memoirist Peter Wells talking to writer Stephanie Johnson about his work, Dear Oliver, and the view it gives of the history of Pākehā New Zealanders. Journalist and researcher Brad Haami will explore the impact of the second major Māori migration, some 800 years after the original waka made landfall in Aotearoa.
Other events include poetry slams and spoken word performances, an indie book fair, short films and two plays, Massive Theatre Company's Sightings and the premiere of playwright Albert Belz's new drama, Cradle Song prompted by Belz's reaction to the discovery of a mass children's grave, which was part of a home for unmarried mothers in the township of Tuam, County Galway.
• The Going West Books and Writers Festival runs from Friday, September 7-Sunday, September 16. The full festival programme will be online at goingwestfest.co.nz from Friday.