Nine exciting and innovative Indigenous writers and storytellers from Australia, Canada and Aotearoa New Zealand will bring readings and performances to venues throughout the North Island of New Zealand from 3 to 13 March 2005.
Honouring Words Aotearoa features three Australian writers: Kenny Laughton (Aboriginal), novelist; Kerry Reed-Gilbert (Wiradjuri), poet; and Jared Thomas (Nukunu), novelist and playwright.
Honouring Words was initiated by Canadian writer and publisher Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm (Anishnaabe) in 2002 to promote and expose the work of Indigenous writers to a growing international audience. The first tour was held in Canada in 2002 and the second tour was hosted by Australia in 2003.
Te Ha – Contemporary Maori Writers committee of Toi Maori Aotearoa, hosts of the 2005 tour, have put together a comprehensive program of literary events and visits to Wananga (Maori universities) marae, museums, libraries and schools throughout the North Island–from the Tuna CafÈ in Moerewa to Te Papa in Wellington.
Honouring Words Aotearoa represents the final year of a three-year partnership between the Australia Council, Canada Council and Creative New Zealand.
‘We are honoured to have the presence of world renowned Indigenous writers from Canada and Australia,’ said Toi Maori Aotearoa general manager Mr Garry Nicholas. ‘Honouring Words celebrates Indigenous literature as a unique and special voice to people the world over. The tour is a wonderful celebration of these writers’ achievements.’
The touring group includes a lineup of celebrated writers, such as Canadian writer Thomas King, best known for his novels Truth and Bright Water (1999), Green Grass, Running Water (1993) and Medicine River (1990), as well as Maori poet Robert Sullivan whose first book Jazz Waiata won the PEN (NZ) Best First Book of Poetry award.
A full touring program can be found at: www.maoriart.org.nz/events/honouring_words_2005.