Author talk: meet Adrienne Jansen

ada-author-talkOn Thursday 20 March, starting at 6pm at the Central Library, we will have a special celebration for Race Relations Day! Meet Adrienne Jansen and Samson Sahele – these two very different writers will cast their eye on New Zealand’s multicultural society and talk about their own work and about writing together. They will be joined by refugee youth who will read poems from Walking with a Fragile Heart. Well-known musican Sam Manzanza will start this event with his amazing drumming!

I have introduced you to Samson a few days ago, now meet Adrienne!

Adrienne is a writer, editor and teacher. She is a fourth generation New Zealander and lives in Titahi Bay, Porirua. She loves the physical beauty of the area and is a very strong Porirua supporter enjoying its diversity.
Adrienne Jansen writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry. She has lived and worked among immigrants in New Zealand for many years, and her writing draws strongly on that experience. She wrote the text for The Crescent Moon: Asian Face of Islam in New Zealand, with photography by Ans Westra. Her latest novel The Score is about messy lives, shaky pasts and even shakier futures. Adrienne founded the Whitireia Polytechnic Creative Writing Programme, and was its coordinator until 1999. She now teaches fiction and editing on the programme, and has written several of its online courses. She is part of the writing team at Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum, and does some freelance work.

But there is so much more!  Have a look here on the Book Council website.

I asked Adrienne about her hobbies and favourite movies and authors. One thing we both enjoy is a love of Moroccan food. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she has been working with Abdel El Adraoui from the Marrakech Cafe on his new cookbook Abdel’s Favourites from the Marrakech Café. You may remember Adbel from my post on our Communities Stories and Traditions page.

One favourite film of Adrienne is the French comedy The Intouchables. Our library catalogue has this summary: “An irreverent, uplifting comedy about friendship, trust, and human possibility. Based on a true story of friendship between a handicapped millionaire and his street-smart ex-con caretaker, The Intouchables depicts an unlikely camaraderie rooted in honesty and humor between two individuals who, on the surface, would seem to have nothing in common.”

Favourite author: it changes depending on what Adrienne is reading, but she is a great fan of Australian writer Tim Winton. Especially his novel Syndetics book coverCloudstreet :  “[this novel] concerns the everyday lives of two country families who move to the city. ‘It pulses with a sense of wonder and shines with the clear light of truth’ – P Robert Drewe.” (Syndetics summary)

I am very excited about this author talk on Thursday, hope you can make it! A great opportunity to meet very different writers, there will be plenty of opportunity for questions. Remember this is a free event at the Central Library, starting at 6pm.

Author Talk – Samson Sahele

ada-author-talk

Celebrate Race Relations Day and meet Samson Sahele and Adrienne Jansen! These two very different writers will cast their eye on New Zealand’s multicultural society and talk about their own work and about writing together.  This is a FREE event – no need to book and will be held at Central Library in Victoria Street Thursday March 20 from 6-7 pm. Well known musician Sam Manzanza will launch the event with his amazing drumming skills!

Samson cropIn this post I would like to introduce you to Samson. Samson was a journalist in Ehtiopia when he had to flee for his life. His journey as a political refugee took him through four African countries before spending two and half years in South Africa. He arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2000.
I first met Samson back in 2007 at Newtown library when his community were looking for a place to celebrate their very special Ethiopian Millenium! I invited them to have this event at the library and organise a display about their ancient culture! We even had a special Ethiopian coffee ceremony, best coffee ever!
Samson works at Refugee Trauma Recovery. which is a non-governmental organisation offering confidential and free services to former refugees and their families in Wellington. They provide specialist mental health services for those who have experienced trauma and torture, and deliver capacity building for their families and community. More information about this organisation.

etiopian millennium 020aSamson is the driving force behind creative writing workshops for young refugees, and the resulting publications, Earthless Trees, Beyond the Dark Journey and Walking with a Fragile Heart. Dame Fiona Kidman has been a supporter of all three books including attending writing workshops with the young authors. Samson also published a poetry collection Journey with My Shadow. Dame Fiona Kidman writes in the preface, “This book represents Samson’s own journey, from the beloved and beautiful Ethiopia of his childhood to Aotearoa, New Zealand. It is a journey, in one sense, from lightness and enchantment, to a safe, but perhaps, by contrast, more grey land. In between, there is an account of intolerable darkness and should be compulsory reading for anyone who wishes to learn how war has destroyed some parts of the African continent.” Dame Kidman concludes with: “As New Zealand, Aotearoa becomes increasingly multi-cultural, it would be well for us to learn more of these flights, taken in fear and with regret from beloved homelands. In order to offer a land that welcomes people from other cultures, we need to understand better that which has gone before. Journey with my Shadow offers this oppurtunity. I highly recommend Samson’s book.”

I asked Samson what he likes doing in his spare time and no surprises there. He likes supporting the community, reading, and listening to music, especially Ethiopian music and Reggae. Also enjoys walking and following our global current affairs.

Do join us on the 20 March at Central library celebrating Race Relations Day, this will be a very interesting session, we are looking forward to seeing you there!
Next post I will introduce you to Adrienne Jansen.

Race Relations Day Author Talk

rrd2014 posterRace Relations Day, 21 March, marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which is celebrated around the world. Wellington City Libraries is a proud participant in the Diversity in Action Programme facilitated by the Human Rights Commission. The New Zealand Diversity Action Programme is a community initiative. It began in 2004, in response to the outrage at the desecration of Jewish community gravesites in Wellington. The programme has been active in promoting and encouraging positive race relations.

The 2014 theme in New Zealand is “I am Aotearoa New Zealand…te ranga tahi, together we grow.” This year’s poster features portraits from six of New Zealand’s top illustrators (clockwise from top left): Max Thompson, Rebecca Kereopa, Rebecca Terborg, Angus Gomes, Donna Cross and Henrietta Harris.

stacked-nz-diversity-logo-webThis year we are celebrating Race Relations Day with a free author talk – in conversation with Samson Sahele and Adrienne Jansen. These two very different writers will cast their eye on New Zealand’s multicultural society and talk about their own work and about writing together. They will be joined by refugee youth who will read poems from Walking with a Fragile Heart. This is a free event and will be held at the Wellington Central Library, Thursday 20 March 6-7 pm. Well known musician Sam Manzanza will play the drum at the beginning of this session calling you all to attend! Pencil this in your diary now! Next post I will tell you more about the authors.

slider for authortalk