Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Book Activity on a Grand Scale

It has been a week of intense book activity for me!

On Friday last I went to my first event in the current festival to a session titled The Quiet Volume – ‘a live literary experience for two’  - a new way of looking at the act of reading. It was interesting but would have been better perhaps held somewhere were there were actually books surrounding the participants and not the National Library which, since it went digital, is strangely denuded of words on paper. The whispering voice in our headphones kept asking us to look around and view the different ways people were interacting with their books. However the people in the vicinity were only interacting with their screens. I understand the programme had originally been devised for the reading room of the British Library - see image above.

On Saturday I went to a really sparkling event held by the Kapiti Children’s Writers Group.  Here Jill MacGregor, writer and photographer of the much anticipated and now much appreciated Children of the Pacific series spoke to us about the books and about some of the ups and downs of self-publishing. Tareima's String, Kiribati was one of the first books I reviewed on this blog (nearly a year ago). Just Google Jill’s name for the list of her books and for information about a remarkable woman who believes passionately in what she is doing and in the importance of documenting cultural practices.


Last night I went to the Ministry of Education Information Evening for Writers, Illustrators and Photographers held at Te Papa. Neale Pitches (South Pacific Press and Lift Education) MC’ed the evening where the audience filled the Vodofone Room and extended to a large virtual audience. Whether people went away (into the bitterly cold night in Wellington or from their computers with the virtual audience) feeling satisfied, bemused or anxious would be hard to say. It was very obvious that everyone concerned was working tremendously hard and hopefully there will be a follow-up meeting later in the year.

              (Photo of Neale Pitches - BPANZ)

- And this is only the beginning for me because the delights of Writers Week start in a few days – book launches/ discussions/ seminars/ parties... Wow!

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