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Going West Goes Online and Free in September

Going West Festival’s 26th season moves online for September, offering three freshly curated live conversations with Aotearoa’s finest writers of prose, poetry and culture.


Going West Festival’s 26th season moves online for September, offering three freshly curated live conversations with Aotearoa’s finest writers of prose, poetry and culture.

The events, which can be accessed from the Festival’s website, are perfectly proportioned bites for lovers of books, words and ideas. 

Going West Festival director James Littlewood says the team’s experience producing its recent podcast series has come into its own.

“When it became clear that Documented Reality, our live September event, needed to pivot to online, we knew it was a big ‘yes, can do’. We’ve had to do some swift rejigging, and we’re super grateful to the writers for that.

“We’re thrilled to be proceeding with as-live, all-new conversations with some of this country’s most exciting voices,” says James.

The events will be free, with an option for viewers to pay as you’d like. “As in-person events, these events were ticketed, but we recognise there's a huge need for online community culture during lockdowns, so there's no question we're making these free. At the same time, we hope our audiences recognise the value of the work and make a contribution,” says James.   

Saturday 11 September, 7.30pm. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman. How does our view of the world change as we age? Does the reality ever meet our dreams? In an hour of discussion and readings, authors Charlotte Grimshaw (The Mirror Book), Lana Lopesi (False Divides), Alison Jones (This Pākehā Life: An Unsettled Memoir) and Ghazaleh Golbaksh (The Girl from Revolution Road), interrogate their lives as young woman. In conversation with Amy McDaid. 

Sunday 12 September 7.30 pm: Queer Agendas.  Mark Beehre’s new book A Queer Existence is composed of beautiful and intimate portraits of queer men born after the Homosexual Law Reform Act passed in 1986. Jack Remiel Cottrell’s debut book Ten Acceptable Acts of Arson features stories from his life as a queer man of that generation. Facilitated by playwright Victor Rodger, they discuss what might now be on the ‘queer agenda’ as we move through the 21st century.

Monday 13 September 7.30 pm: Multi-Verse.  Performance poets Angela Zhang, Simone Kaho, Takunda Muzondiwa, Kyla Manalili Dela Cruz deliver a powerful poetic discourse of resistance. Muzondiwa’s TEDxYouth talk, Dear Racism, was widely acclaimed, while Kaho was recently named as Emerging Pasifika Writer in Residence at Te Herenga Waka. Curated by poets and provocateurs Aiwa Pooamorn and Gemishka Chetty, co-creators of the Fringe Festival performance Go Home Curry Muncha.

Going West’s book – a New Zealand first

The Festival celebrates its 25 year milestone with Voices of Aotearoa, a handsome hardback book with stunning photographs drawing on its most memorable featured writers over time. It is the first literary Festival in New Zealand to publish its own book.

On the menu are two-dozen thought-provoking essays from the likes of Patricia Grace, Michael King and Maurice Shadbolt, personal reflections from Dame Fiona Kidman and Maualaivao Albert Wendt, poetry and song from Allen Curnow and Robert Sullivan, satire from Stephanie Johnson and Te Radar.

Voices of Aotearoa (Oratia Books) goes on sale from 16 September with a physical launch planned when COVID restrictions allow.

Festival organisers hope its October event – Fabricated Reality (Saturday 9 October) and its November event Shifting Ground (Saturday 13 November) can take place as in-person events.

We are grateful for the support of CNZ Creative New Zealand, The Trusts Community Foundation, Waitakere Ranges Local Board, Auckland Council, AUT, Te Uru Contemporary Art Gallery, Lopdell House and Glen Eden Playhouse



Contact details: 
Penny Hartill, hPR. 021 721 424;

Written by

Hartill Communications

31 Aug 2021