Bryan Walpert in conversation about his latest novel Entanglement

Bryan Walpert is a professor in creative writing at Massey University, a poet, novelist and a creative thinker. His work so far encompasses nine books including four collections of poetry: – Etymology, A History of Glass, Native Bird and Brass Band to Follow being the most recent. His short novella called ‘Late Sonata’, won the Seizure Viva La Novella Prize and he was also recently a contributor to the Dante project More Favourable Waters.

‘Late Sonata’ was praised  for its “seamless melding of the emotional and the intellectual”, something his new novel Entanglement does too.

Entanglement is Bryan’s first full length novel and revolves around various threads: A memory-impaired time traveller and his attempts to correct a tragic mistake, a novelist researching at the Centre for Time in Sydney, and a writer at a lake retreat in New Zealand in 2019 obsessing over the disintegration of his marriage following another tragedy. Are they separate stories, or are they one?

Entanglement is a multi-layered, multi-faceted work that weaves big ideas about the nature of existence and time into the integral fabric of the plot, whilst also being very personal about the characters’ inner lives. It was recently listed in the Listener’s Best Books of 2021 list and when Bryan agreed to talk to us about Entanglement and its creation and themes, we jumped at the chance.

We wish to extend to Bryan a huge thank you for letting us interview him about Entanglement and giving us such a fascinating insight into your creative process. Read more about Bryan Walpert here and more about Entanglement by clicking here.

Entanglement / Walpert, Bryan
“A memory-impaired time traveller attempts to correct a tragic mistake he made in 1977 when, panicked, he abandoned his brother on a frozen lake in Baltimore. Decades later, in 2011, a novelist researching at the Centre for Time in Sydney becomes romantically involved with a philosopher from New Zealand. Another eight years on, and a writer at a lake retreat in New Zealand in 2019 obsesses over the disintegration of his marriage following another tragedy. Are these separate stories, or are they one? Is the time traveller actually travelling? Can the past be changed? As the answers to these questions slowly emerge, the three tales become entangled, along with the usual abstractions: love, desperation and physics.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Brass band to follow : poems / Walpert, Bryan
“Bryan Walpert’s fourth collection of lyric poems ranges in its focus from flowers to infinities, from laundry to eternity, but is founded most fully on what it is to move into middle age – to wait for life’s promised brass band to arrive. Whether writing from the perspective of a parent watching childhood slip away or ventriloquising the 17th-century scientific language of Robert Hooke and Robert Boyle to craft surprising love poems, he engages the world with a keen and often witty perception, a deft juggling of the sentence, and a sense of wonder. Frequently playful in approach, the poems are always serious in their engagement with the bewildering nature of time passing – of growing up and growing older.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

More favourable waters : Aotearoa poets respond to Dante’s Purgatory
“An anthology of contemporary poets from Aotearoa New Zealand commemorating one of the world’s great poets, Dante Alighieri (1265–1321), 700 years after his death.
Each of the 33 poets has written a poem of 33 lines inspired by and including a short passage from one of the 33 cantos of Dante’s Purgatory, the second part of his epic The Divine Comedy.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Strong words 2019 : the best of the Landfall essay competition
“Judging her first Landfall Essay Competition in 2018, Landfall editor Emma Neale was seriously challenged. The overall high quality of the 90 submissions made it impossible to choose. After a nails-bitten-to-the-quick struggle, she optimistically submitted her ‘shortlist’ of 21 essays. The publisher had some strong words with her. Emma was told a shortlist needed to be shorter than 21. A lot shorter. In the end she pared the list back to 10 but it seemed so wasteful not to be awarding many more prizes. That’s when this book was born … Strong Words is a striking collection of essays that celebrates an extraordinary year in New Zealand writing.” (adapted from catalogue)

Interview: Grammy-nominated & AMA-shortlisted percussionist Justin DeHart

We are totally thrilled to announce the release of our recent interview with Grammy-nominated and Aotearoa music awards shortlisted percussionist Justin DeHart; see above to view.

Justin’s musical practice is steeped in his interest in percussion from across the globe and in all its musical incarnations. To illustrate the point, when he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, he went to India to study that country’s percussion legacy, heritage, and current culture.

Justin DeHart originally hails from Sacramento and moved to Christchurch in 2017 as a Senior Lecturer in Music to teach at the University of Canterbury, in this country’s first ever percussion program. He is a performer of a wide range of contemporary musical styles from classical to pop, and from world to electronic. As an artist his musical resume is every bit as extensive, including performances with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, LA Phil New Music Group, I.C.E., pipa master Wu Man, and various pop legends, including Stewart Copeland and Cheap Trick, having appeared on over 100 solo, chamber and contemporary releases on many of the world’s most recognised labels.

Since his arrival in Aotearoa he has been inspired by the musical culture he has encountered.  These musical discoveries have subsequently led to the creation of Justin’s debut New Zealand release on Rattle Records.

Landfall New Zealand Percussion Vol 1
Featuring compositions for percussion by Glenda Keam, David Downes, Alex van den Broek, Mark Menzies, Chris Gendall, Rosa Elliott, Simon Eastwood, Robert Bryce and Reuben de Lautour.

We are thrilled that Justin has taken time out from his very busy schedule to talk to us about his new release, his career, and all things musical, and extend out heartfelt thanks.

For more information on Justin, visit www.justindehart.com

And for more information on Rattle records, visit  https://rattle.co.nz/

Landfall
“Tautology / Glenda Keam — Bells/Mirrors / David Downes — Order 81 / Alex van den Broek — Scales & taonga / Mark Menzies — Landfall / Rosa Elliott — The new music dance / Robert Bryce — Silver wind ; Golden earth ; White water / Simon Eastwood — Braided plain soundwalk / Reuben de Lautour. ” ( Adapted from Catalogue.)

 

Complete early percussion works / Stockhausen, Karlheinz
“Contents disc 1. Refrain (Pavlos Antoniadis, celesta, antique cymbals ; James Avery, piano, woodblocks ; Steven Schick, vibraphone, Alpine bells) (10:15) ; Schlagtrio : for piano and 2 timpanists (Katalin Lukács, piano ; Justin DeHart, Fabio Oliveira, timpani) (16:08) ; Kontakte : for piano, percussion and 4-channel tape (Steven Schick, percussion ; James Avery, piano percussion) (35:00) — disc 2. Zyklus : for a percussionist (Steven Schick, percussion) (10:30) ; Mikrophonie : for tamtam, 2 microphones, 2 filters, and controllers (Red Fish Blue Fish) (31:44).” (Adapted from catalogue)

The Big Read: Potiki by Patricia Grace. Find, read and pass it on!

 

This December we have a real treat for book lovers, centering around Patricia Grace’s iconic novel Potiki.

We have two ways you can celebrate and get involved with this outstanding novel, including unlimited download access to Potiki for everyone  from Wellington City Libraries or, if you are lucky, finding your own specially hidden copy.

We want to make this the biggest read in Aotearoa’s history…

For more details read on.

From TODAY until 21st December, Wellington City Libraries are offering unlimited downloads of Potiki eBooks! All you need to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to read Potiki is a valid library card. Click here to access your copy, available from 7 – 21 of December.

Our book fairies are also hiding physical copies of Patricia Grace’s Potiki around Wellington City and Porirua City. Just keep your eyes peeled to see if you can spot a copy.

Since it was first published in 1986, local and international readers have been spellbound by Potiki. This captivating story follows the struggle to protect indigenous land against developers, who are threatening to destroy a community and a whole way of life.

So why not join Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts and Wellington City Libraries, with Penguin Random House New Zealand and take this opportunity to  read one of Aotearoa’s great novels: Potiki.

Find, read and pass it on!

Then you can  hear from the author herself at the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts, 25 February – 20 March 2022.

Click here for more details of the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of The Arts 

Overdrive cover Potiki, Patricia Grace (ebook)
Patricia Grace’s classic novel is a work of spellbinding power in which the myths of older times are inextricably woven into the political realities of today. In a small coastal community threatened by developers who would ravage their lands it is a time of fear and confusion – and growing anger. The prophet child Tokowaru-i-te-Marama shares his people’s struggles against bulldozers and fast money talk. When dramatic events menace the marae, his grief threatens to burst beyond the confines of his twisted body. His all-seeing eye looks forward to a strange and terrible new dawn. Potiki won the New Zealand Book Awards in 1987. (Overdrive description)

She’s a Killer author Kirsten McDougall in conversation with Rajorshi Chakraborti

We are totally stoked to announce the release of our recent interview with Kirsten McDougall in conversation with Rajorshi Chakraborti about one of the most talked about and acclaimed novels of 2021, She’s a Killer.

Welcome to two of New Zealand’s finest authors engaging in a dynamic, fascinating, entertaining, and illuminating conversation, mainly about Kirsten McDougall’s highly acclaimed new novel She’s a Killer, but also sharing opinions about their respective writing practices, the vagrancies of being an author in the 21st century and passing on some writing tips and hints; not to mention discussing the merits of office meetings.

 

 

Our interviewer was the inimitable, highly acclaimed author Rajorshi Chakraborti.  Rajorshi Chakraborti was born in India and has lived in England, Canada and Scotland and now lives in Wellington, New Zealand. He is the author of six novels including Or the Day Seizes You, Derangements, Balloonists, The Man Who Would Not See, which was longlisted for the 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, and Shadow Play: A Mystery. His latest novel Shakti is a supernatural magical realist mystery thriller set in India, that delves into the murky and dark waters of modern Indian politics in a carefully chosen, considered  and unique fashion.

Award -winning Wellington author Kirsten McDougall’s books include the critically acclaimed Tess, “a wonderful, multi-layered can of worms” and The Invisible Rider, as well as short stories and non-fiction in a range of books and journals. She’s a Killer has been heaped with praise since its release from the likes of The Listener, The Dominion Post and Radio New Zealand and is already one of this most talked about and highly regarded novels of recent years.

She’s a Killer is set in the very near future in New Zealand where the effects of climate change are really beginning to bite and affect both our physical world but also our society. The main theme of the book might be heavy, but the book is often very funny in a dark way, contains layers of twists and turns and is a fast-paced thriller with great characters to boot.

The resulting interview is a wonderful insight into the book, its themes and obsessions as well as both these writers’ practices,  and for anyone interested in modern fiction in Aotearoa and beyond is totally unmissable.

Find more info about Kirsten McDougall and her work here, 

and more info about Rajorshi Chakraborti and his work here.

She’s a killer. / McDougall, Kirsten
“Set in a very near future New Zealand where the effects of climate change are really beginning to bite and affect both our physical world but also our society.Full of spicy and fresh characters that leap of the book’s pages and a plot effortlessly moves from razor sharp humour to Climate fear driven sure shot action. ” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Tess / McDougall, Kirsten
“Tess is on the run when she’s picked up from the side of the road by lonely middle-aged father Lewis Rose. With reluctance, she’s drawn into his family troubles and comes to know a life she never had. Set in Masterton at the turn of the millennium, Tess is a gothic love story about the ties that bind and tear a family apart.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

The invisible rider / McDougall, Kirsten
“This delightful collection of linked short stories focuses on Philip Fetch, a lawyer with an office in a suburban shopping mall who feels increasingly out of step with his society and neighbours. At once surreal and whimsical, and fired by a quietly burning moral engagement, The Invisible Rider is an antipodean cousin of Calvino’s Marcovaldo” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Shakti / Chakraborti, Rajorshi
“Amid a climate of right-wing, nationalist politics, three Indian women find themselves wielding powers that match their wildest dreams. There is one catch: they come with a Faustian price.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook. 

 

The man who would not see / Chakraborti, Rajorshi
“As children in Calcutta, Ashim and Abhay made a small mistake that split their family forever. Thirty years later, Ashim has re-entered his brother’s life, with blame and retribution on his mind. It seems nothing short of smashing Abhay’s happy home will make good the damage from the past. At least, this is what Abhay and his wife Lena are certain is happening. A brother has travelled all the way from small-town India to New Zealand bearing ancient – and false – grudges, and with the implacable objective of blowing up every part of his younger brother’s life. Reconciliation was just a Trojan horse. But is Ashim really the villain he appears to be, or is there a method to his havoc?” (Catalogue)

Shadow play / Chakraborti, Rajorshi
“An international conspiracy thriller in the vein of The Parallax View— a Salman Rushdie-esque figure uses his latest novel to explain his own disappearance after a journalist’s murder   Raj Chakraborti, internationally renowned novelist and commentator, has disappeared from public view. What’s worse, the police want to question him about the murder of a young journalist. Raj claims to explain everything in chapters from his latest work of fiction about a serial-killer-turned-hired-assassin. Is Raj right to believe that he is being hunted, or is it his past that has finally borne down to haunt him?” (Catalogue)

Lit : stories from home
“Home-grown literary heroes, established contemporary authors, and award-winning emerging writers have been brought together in this new short story collection. Exploring ideas about identity, activism awareness, coming-of-age, society, and family in Aotearoa, New Zealand” (Catalogue)

 

 

And below as an additional bonus treat Kirsten herself reading a brief extract from She’s a Killer.

Interview with Professor Anne Noble, Arts Foundation Laureate

Professor Anne Noble

Professor Anne Noble is one of the most highly regarded and acclaimed art photographers and conceptual artists working in Aotearoa New Zealand today. We are absolutely thrilled to announce that you can watch our interview with Professor Noble below!

All photographs used in the video and displayed below are © Anne Noble (All rights reserved) and Massey University Press and are reproduced with kind permission.

Professor Noble’s photographic and conceptual works have gained her a major international reputation. Her work has been exhibited globally and is held in numerous national and international collections. Her practice spans various mediums — including moving image, still photography, sound, and installation work.

Professor Noble’s previous bodies of work have to this point included pieces examining Antarctica, her own daughter’s mouth, pieces on the significance of memory and imagination to personal and cultural narratives of place and belonging, and most recently, forests.

Dead Bee Portrait #01, by Anne Noble

The video interview above particularly focuses on her various bodies of work surrounding her interest in bees. This interview was shot at Professor Noble’s recent exhibition at the Bartley & Company Art Gallery, and covers her practice — in particular this exhibition and the associated book Conversātiō – in the company of bees, recently published by Massey University Press.

More about Professor Anne Noble and her practice

Professor Noble also has another exhibition coming up — “In a forest dark…” (25 November – 18 December 2021), at Bartley & Company Art Gallery.

And below is the full extended uncut version of the interview  for anyone who wishes to delve deeper into Professor Nobles work!

Conversatio : In the company of bees / Noble, Anne
“Lavishly illustrated book to accompany Professor Anne Noble’s Bee themed exhibitions staged internationally over the course of several years. With guest essayists commenting and illuminating various points and themes explored in these bodies of work.” (Adapted from Catalogue )

Find more by Professor Noble on our Catalogue:

Spoolhenge Antarctica / Noble, Anne
“Catalogue of an exhibition held at the Cube3 Gallery, Peninsular Arts, University of Plymouth from 19 May-25 June, 2011. Includes bibliographical references.” (Adapted from Catalogue )

No vertical song / Noble, Anne
“Catalogue of an exhibition held Friday 24 March – Sunday 7 May 2017, at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne.” (Adapted from Catalogue )

Slow release : recent photography from New Zealand : Fiona Amundsen, Gavin Hipkins, Anne Noble, Fiona Pardington, Peter Peryer, Ann Shelton, Yvonne Todd
“Catalogue of an exhibition at the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen, Victoria 10 August – 22 September 2002; the Gippsland Art Gallery Sale 16 November – 15 December 2002; and the Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University of Wellington, 2003.Supported by the Chartwell Trust. And including bibliographical references.” (Adapted from Catalogue )

Interview with award-winning NZ author Lee Murray – coming 25 July

The fabulous Lee Murray recently won two Bram Stoker Awards®; the Oscars for dark writing and the world’s premier literary horror awards!  One in the category Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection for Grotesque: Monster Stories and the other for Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women in the category of Superior Achievement in an Anthology.

Lee has also recently been nominated in the Shirley Jackson Awards for Black Cranes,  shortlisted for the Ladies of Horror Fiction Awards in the Short Fiction Category for ‘Heart Music’ from Grotesque: Monster Stories, is a nominee in Horror Fiction in the Skoutz Awards for Beutezeit, the German translation of Into the Mist and is also currently nominated in four categories of New Zealand’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards (Novel, Short Fiction, Collection, and Services to Science Fiction and Horror).

So, with all these awards and accolades pouring in we thought what better time to approach Lee about the possibility of doing an interview. So next Sunday 25 July at 7.30 pm as a Facebook premier FREE event we have an exclusive in-depth interview and reading with Lee where she talks in detail about her work, inspirations, background, and a whole host of other topics. For anyone interested in Lee’s work or, indeed, speculative fiction or horror in general, the interview is unmissable.

To make sure you are first in line to see this exclusive interview, keep a close eye on our Facebook page. After the premier on Sunday 25th of July 2021 the interview will be available to view at any time.

We wish to expend our heartfelt thanks to Lee and her film crew Dhaivat Mehta and Harry Oram. Find out more about Lee’s work by visiting her website.

Browse Lee’s work in our catalogue:

Black cranes : tales of unquiet women
“Almond-eyed celestial, the filial daughter, the perfect wife. Quiet, submissive, demure. In Black Cranes, Southeast Asian writers of horror both embrace and reject these traditional roles in a unique collection of stories which dissect their experiences of ‘otherness,’ be it in the colour of their skin, the angle of their cheekbones, the things they dare to write, or the places they have made for themselves in the world. Black Cranes is a dark and intimate exploration of what it is to be a perpetual outsider.” (Catalogue)

Into the ashes / Murray, Lee
” The nation’s leaders scoff at the danger. That is; until the ground opens and all hell breaks loose. The armed forces are hastily deployed; NZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna and his section tasked with evacuating civilians and tourists from Tongariro National Park. It is too little, too late. With earthquakes coming thick and fast and the mountains spewing rock and ash, McKenna and his men are cut off. Their only hope of rescuing the stranded civilians is to find another route out, but a busload of prison evacuees has other ideas. And, deep beneath the earth’s crust, other forces are stirring, ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Into the sounds / Murray, Lee
“On leave, and out of his head with boredom, NZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna joins biologist Jules Asher on a Conservation Department deer culling expedition to New Zealand’s southernmost national park. Despite covering an area the size of the Serengeti, only eighteen people live in the isolated region, so it’s a surprise when the hunters stumble on the nation’s Tūrehu tribe, becoming some of only a handful to ever encounter the elusive ghost people. Besides, there is something else lurking in the sounds, and it has its own agenda. When the waters clear, will anyone be allowed to leave?​”(Adapted from Catalogue)

Into the mist / Murray, Lee
“When New Zealand Defense Force Sergeant Taine McKenna and his squad are tasked with escorting a bunch of civilian contractors into Te Urewera National Park, it seems a strange job for the army. Taine draws on ancient tribal wisdom as he becomes desperate to bring his charges out alive. Will it be enough to stop the nightmare? And when the mist clears, will anyone be left?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Te korero ahi kā : To speak of the home fires burning
“Here, between the realms of the Sky Father and Earth Mother, hellhounds race, ghosts drift and the taniwha stalks. Home fires drive them back, sparking stories and poems that traverse seconds, eons, and parsecs. Tales of gatekeepers, cloak wearers, and secrets. Of pigs with AK-47s or ruby-hued eyes, of love-struck moa, and unruly reflections. Stark truths and beautiful possibilities. Te Korero Ahi Kā-to speak of the home fires burning-is an anthology of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, showcasing work from award-winning and emerging members of SpecFicNZ (New Zealand authors, poets, artists of speculative fiction. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

At the edge
“Step up, as close as you dare… …to a place at the edge of sanity, where cicadas scritch across balmy summer nights, at the edge of town, where the cellphone coverage is decidedly dodgy, at the edge of space, where a Mimbinus argut bounds among snowy rocks, at the edge of the page, where demon princes prance in the shadows, at the edge of despair, where 10 darushas will get you a vodka lime and a ring side seat, at the edge of the universe, where time stops but space goes on… From the brink of civilisation, the fringe of reason, and the border of reality, come 23 stories infused with the bloody-minded spirit of the Antipodes. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Blood of the sun / Rabarts, Dan
“There’s been a gang massacre on Auckland’s Freyberg Wharf. Body parts everywhere. And with the police’s go-to laboratory out of action, it’s up to scientific consult Pandora (Penny) Yee to sort through the mess. It’s a hellish task, made worse by the earthquake swarms, the insufferable heat, and Cerberus’ infernal barking. And what’s got into her brother Matiu? Does it have something to do with the ship’s consignment? Or is Matiu running with the gangs again? Join Penny and Matiu Yee for the family reunion to end all family reunions, as the struggle between light and dark erupts across Auckland’s volcanic skyline.”–Publisher description.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Teeth of the wolf / Rabarts, Dan
“Scientific consultant Penny Yee has barely drawn breath before Detective Inspector Tanner assigns her another suspicious death, with Matiu tagging along for the ride. That’s fine as long as he stays outside the crime scene tape, but when one of Matiu’s former cronies turns up dead, Penny wonders if her brother might be more than just an innocent bystander. While she’s figuring that out, the entire universe conspires against her, with a cadaver going AWOL, her DNA sequencer spitting the dummy, and the rent due any day.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Hounds of the underworld / Rabarts, Dan
“On the verge of losing her laboratory, her savings, and all respect for herself, Pandora (Penny) Yee lands her first contract as scientific consult to the police department. Only she’s going to need to get around, and that means her slightly unhinged adopted brother, Matiu, will be doing the driving.  Matiu doesn’t like anything about this case, from the voices that screamed at him when he touched that bowl, to the way his hateful imaginary friend Makere has come back to torment him, to the fact that the victim seems to be tied up with a man from Matiu’s past, a man who takes pleasure in watching dogs tear each other to pieces for profit and entertainment.” (Catalogue)

A foreign country : New Zealand speculative fiction
“Strange creatures are loose in Miramar, desperate survivors cling to the remains of a submerged country, humanity’s descendants seek to regain what they’ve lost, and the residents of Gisborne reluctantly serve alien masters. The visions of New Zealand – and beyond – painted in this collection of short stories are both instantly recognisable, and nothing like the place we know. A FOREIGN COUNTRY brings together the work of established authors and fresh voices to showcase the range of stories produced by New Zealand’s growing community of speculative fiction writers.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Regeneration : New Zealand speculative fiction II
“Some things are gone forever; but that is not the end. There are new lives to be lived, new discoveries to be made, changes to be fought for, enjoyed, or feared. Experience worlds where existence continues beyond death and much-wanted babies become something else entirely. Where humanity endures in hostile environments, societies adapt to new challenges and inventions, and strange creatures live secretly among us. Travel from a curiously altered Second World War to other universes at the end of time, taking in diverse visions of New Zealand and worlds beyond along the way. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Visit our Central Library collection at Te Pātaka for some winter reading

The Te Pātaka Collection and Distribution Centre houses Wellington Central Library’s collection. This is a rare opportunity to visit, browse and borrow!

Details:

What? Te Pātaka Open Days

Date: Wednesday 14 July; Thursday 22 July — see topics per day below

Location: Johnsonville (details on registration)

Please remember to bring your library card

On the hunt for some crafting ideas? Missing all those classic graphic novels, DVDs or biographies? Or treat yourself to a swag of history, beliefs, cookery or photography books.

We’ll be opening our Te Pātaka Collection Centre to customers on two days during the school holidays. You’ll be able to browse and borrow books from our off-site storage collection. Some of the collection is on rolling stacks, so different areas of the collection will be more accessible at different times. If possible, choose the time slot which matches your interest as it will be easier for you to see that topic then. If the area you’re interested in isn’t listed below, you are still welcome and we will do our best to make it work.

Spots are limited and visits are restricted to one hour, so bookings will be essential — view and book session times and topics available below. We can’t wait to see you!

Times and topics

Teen only slot: 3pm, Thursday 22nd (but teens are of course welcome at any time).

Available at any session:

  • Fiction
  • Large print
  • Biography
  • Science and health
  • Graphic novels
  • Teen fiction and graphic novels
  • Children’s fiction and comics
  • Picture books

Wednesday 14 July — Topics and Time Slots

Time slots and topics available per time slot for Wednesday 14 July
2-3pm 3-4pm 4-5pm
  • Computing
  • Gardening
  • Photography
  • Travel
  • DVDs Movies
  • Popular CDs

Book for 2-3pm, 14 July

  • Self-help
  • Cooking
  • Music books
  • World Wars history
  • DVDs TV series
  • Classical CDs

Book for 3-4pm, 14 July

  • Economics and finance
  • Business and management
  • Film
  • NZ history
  • DVDs TV series
  • Magazines

Book for 4-5pm, 14 July

Thursday 22 July — Topics and Time Slots

Time slots and topics available per time slot for Thursday 22 July
10-11am 11am-12pm 12-1pm 3-4pm
  • Social issues
  • Art / photography
  • Sports and games
  • Cooking
  • DVDs TV series
  • Popular CDs

Book for 10-11am, 22 July

  • True Crime
  • Craft
  • Poetry
  • Art/architecture
  • DVDs Movies
  • Magazines

Book for 11am-12pm, 22 July

  • Languages
  • Cooking
  • Literature
  • Songbooks
  • DVDs Movies
  • Music Scores

Book for 12-1pm, 22 July

Teen only session.

Book for 3-4pm, 22 July

Browse all sessions on our Calendar

Matariki 2021 at your libraries!

Tēnā koutou katoa, e te whānau!

From 2 – 10 July, Wellington City Libraries is celebrating Matariki with a range of events, crafts, storytelling sessions, and experiences for whānau and tamariki all over our city. Don’t forget to also check out the Wellington City Council website to find out about the huge range of exciting activities taking place outside our libraries during Matariki.

Continue reading “Matariki 2021 at your libraries!”

Curator Lizzie Bisley on Te Papa’s Surrealist Art exhibition

The Te Papa Surrealist exhibition opens tomorrow — Saturday 12 June! This is your (ultra-rare) chance to see 180 surrealist masterpieces from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.

To celebrate the exhibition’s opening and find out more, we interviewed the exhibition curator Lizzie Bisley, Curator Modern Art at Te Papa. Have a watch below!

Lizzie Bisley, Curator Modern Art, 2019. Photo by Jack Fisher. Te Papa

Te Papa’s Surrealist exhibition runs until 31 October in Te Papa’s gallery, Toi Art. Te Papa is the only venue in the Asia Pacific region to host the exhibition, and as a city we’re incredibly lucky to have this opportunity to view these artworks — which include sculpture, furniture, paintings, graphic design, prints, and photography. (Please note, charges apply.)

This exhibition features major works by all key surrealist artists such as Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Marcel Duchamp, Leonora Carrington, and Man Ray.

To get you fully informed before you go along to the exhibition, visit the library and browse or borrow from our extensive collection of Surrealist books:

Surrealism on our Catalogue

Salvador Dalí, Mae West Lips Sofa, wood, woollen flannel, cotton and brass rivets, 1938. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (purchase with the support of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Foundation and the Rembrandt Association). Photo: Jannes Linders. © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí/VEGAP. Copyright Agency, 2020.

Books at the Climate Crossroads event: recording available now

The climate crisis seeps into almost everything now – that cicada thrum of environmental shift.

Ingrid Horrocks

On a very rainy Tuesday afternoon in May, Te Awe Library was lucky enough to host Ingrid Horrocks, Turi Park, Tim Park and Rebecca Priestley for Books at the Climate Crossroads: Ngā Uruora and Where We Swim.

This fantastic panel event combined literature, science, the climate emergency, history and more as the panellists discussed these two ground-breaking New Zealand titles, as well as their own personal and familial experiences.

If you weren’t able to make it, don’t worry–we recorded it for you! Click on the links below to view or listen to the talk via YouTube or MixCloud. And for more info, check out our previous blog about this event.

Watch the talk here:

Listen to the talk here:

Evening events at Arapaki Manners Library

Arapaki Library is starting up its early evening event series, providing competition and creation galore

Need some fun after a long day of work or study? Have time to kill waiting for your bus? Want to do something, but make it free? Maybe you have some creative energy to burn? If any of these apply, the Arapaki event nights are for you! The programmes are held in the early evenings at Arapaki Manners Library and are FREE, with all resources provided.

The events are on from 5 to 6:45pm:

Monday – Games Night
Tuesday – Zine Night
Wednesday – Chess
Thursday – Write Night
Friday – Silent Book Club

The event series is beginning on Monday, 29th of March and will be on every week. We look forward to seeing you there!

Q and A with Professor Val McDermid

For your delight, edification, and enjoyment our very special online Q and A with the Queen of modern crime fiction Professor Val McDermid.

We are absolutely thrilled to be presenting this Online event with Professor Val McDermid.

Filmed at Val’s home by her partner Professor Jo Sharp and using questions specially gathered from the users of WCL and beyond. The interview is a fascinating insightful and entertaining look into one of the most popular and critically acclaimed writers on the planet.

About Professor Val McDermid

Val McDermid is one of the biggest names in contemporary crime fiction and ‘Tartan Noir’ — her novels have sold more than 16 million copies and have been translated into 40 languages worldwide. Her novels currently fall into four main series, featuring a host of memorable characters: As well as five standalone novels.

  • The Lindsay Gordon books
  • The Kate Brannigan books
  • The DCI Karen Pirie series
  • The Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series

Val has also written Non-fiction, short stories, and an award-winning children’s book.

Val’s most recent release is the sixth DCI Karen Pirie novel called Still life. 

Val McDermid has also won crime writing’s most prestigious award, the much-coveted Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year, for her novel The Mermaids Singing. Along with her plethora of awards, she also holds an Honorary Fellowship from St Hilda’s College in Oxford — where she was the first student from a state school in Scotland ever to attend.

We have an extensive range of Val McDermid books available to borrow click here to view our entire collection.

You can find out more about Val’s activities (and find loads more criminally good recipes besides!) by visiting her website — valmcdermid.com.

We wish to extend to Professor Val McDermid and Professor Jo Sharp our deepest and most sincere thanks for sharing their time with us, and for such a fabulous interview — which you can now view below.

Still life / McDermid, Val
On a freezing winter morning, fishermen pull a body from the sea. It is quickly discovered that the dead man was the prime suspect in a decade-old investigation, when a prominent civil servant disappeared without trace. DCI Karen Pirie was the last detective to review the file and is drawn into a sinister world of betrayal and dark secrets. But Karen is already grappling with another case, one with even more questions and fewer answers. A skeleton has been discovered in an abandoned campervan and all clues point to a killer who never faced justice – a killer who is still out there. ” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an Audiobook.

Forensics : what bugs, burns, prints, DNA, and more tell us about crime / McDermid, Val
The dead talk–to the right listener. They can tell us all about themselves: where they came from, how they lived, how they died, and, of course, who killed them. Forensic scientists can unlock the mysteries of the past and help serve justice using the messages left by a corpse, a crime scene, or the faintest of human traces. Forensics draws on interviews with some of these top-level professionals, ground-breaking research, and McDermid’s own original interviews and firsthand experience on scene with top forensic scientists.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also  available as an eBook.

Overdrive cover Imagine a Country, Val McDermid & Jo Sharp (ebook) “The first step on the road to change is to imagine possibility. Imagine A Country offers visions of a new future from an astonishing array of Scottish voices, from comedians to economists, writers to musicians. Edited, curated and introduced by bestselling author Val McDermid and geographer Jo Sharp, it is a collection of ideas, dreams and ambitions, aiming to inspire change, hope and imagination. Featuring: Ali Smith, Phill Jupitus, A.l. Kennedy, Alan Cumming, Kerry Hudson, Greg Hemphill, Carol Ann Duffy, Chris Brookmyre, Alison Watt, Alasdair Gray, Leila Aboulela, Ian Rankin, Selina Hales, Sanjeev Kohli, Jackie Kay, Damian Barr, Elaine C. Smith, Abir Mukherjee, Anne Glover, Alan Bissett, Louise Welsh, Jo Clifford, Ricky Ross, Trishna Singh, Cameron Mcneish, Alexander Mccall Smith, Carla Jenkins, Don Paterson, and many more…” (Overdrive description)

My granny is a pirate / McDermid, Val
” The perfect story to keep you entertained whilst stuck at home and missing Granny Who knows, when you next see her, she may have turned into a pirate… My granny is a pirate
She’s sailed the seven seas.
She captured many pirate ships
But was always home for tea. When a family secret about Granny is revealed, we discover all about her fiercesome pirate reputation and her swashbuckling ways – from making other rogueish pirates walk the plank to singing sea shanties to her dog, Jolly Roger. Look again at your granny…could she be a pirate too? A must-have book for all pirate fans.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Movie Nights are back in CBD and they are on Tuesdays

Movie Nights are back in the central city! Our newest library Te Awe in Brandon Street offers much-missed movie nights in the CBD every Tuesday night starting at 5:45 pm. Te Awe Library (meaning White Feathers) features a lovely open area for various events and the movies will be shown there.

In July and August, we will be selecting movies from our ‘Essential Film Viewing’ list, which is based on the reference book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, so you must come to see them! No booking needed but please be seated by 5:45 pm.

Wadestown Library also continues to offer Thursday Movie Nights. Please contact them for further information on their screening.

Other branch libraries at Karori, Newtown, Johnsonville and Tawa also show movies.

#StayAtHome Film Festival: Louise’s Māori and Pasifika Picks

Our Kanopy and Beamafilm streaming platforms have a great selection of FREE content from Aotearoa and the Pacific. It’s always good to see our own cultures represented on the screen, so while we are still spending a lot of time at home grab the opportunity to watch some gems that have a Māori and Pasifika kaupapa!

This blog only highlights a small selection of films including emotional movies, documentaries, and a feel good gem about musicians and finding yourself. You will find more if you search ‘Māori’, ‘New Zealand’, or a specific Pasifika country within Kanopy or Beamafilm.

Go ahead and immerse yourself in the stories of Aotearoa and the Pacific!


The Orator

Year: 2011
Length: 106 minutes
Director: Tusi Tamasese

Watch the full film here on Beamafilm!

The Orator is a beautiful and emotional movie that was written and directed by Samoan film-maker Tusi Tamasese and shot entirely in Samoan on location in Samoa itself. Saili’s story is one of love and challenges as he learns he must stand tall, despite his small stature, to become a hero. Highly recommended.

Discover More:

You can also watch Tamasese’s other feature film, One Thousand Ropes, on Kanopy.


Kuo Hina E Hiapo: The Mulberry is White and Ready for Harvest

Year: 2001
Length: 28 minutes
Directors: Joseph Ostraff, Melinda Ostraff

Watch the full film here on Kanopy!

Tapa cloth is a true artistic treasure of the Pacific. In Tonga it is called ngatu and this short documentary illustrates  ngatu’s symbolic importance and collaborative production. Beautiful and fascinating!

Discover More:

Our Te Moana-Nui-A-Kiwi/Pasefika popular topic page provides links to all sorts of Pasefika books and online resources.


Mauri

Year: 1988
Length: 100 minutes
Director: Merata Mita


Watch the full film here on Kanopy!

Merata Mita was the first Māori woman to write and direct a dramatic movie when she brought out Mauri in 1988. Set on the East Coast, Mauri stars Anzac Wallace (Utu) and activist Eva Rickard. This is a landmark film from a landmark Māori film maker.

Discover More:

You can also watch Ngati on Kanopy, another ground-breaking  film from a Māori film maker, this time Barry Barclay.


Waru

Year: 2017
Length: 86 minutes
Directors: Ainsley Gardiner, Awanui Simich-Pene, Briar Grace Smith, Casey Kaa, Chelsea Winstanley, Katie Wolfe, Paula Whetu Jones, Renae Maihi

Watch the full film here on Kanopy!

Eight female Māori directors give us eight connected stories, each taking place at the same moment in time during the tangi of a small boy called Waru. This is a very moving and challenging film with all eight stories  subtly linked while following different female characters. All must come to terms with Waru’s death and try to find a way forward within their community.

Discover More:

A tangi is at the heart of Waru. If you want to learn about Māori protocols surrounding tangi, or other Māori topics, our Māori Information Resources page is an excellent place to start.


The Rain of the Children

Year: 2008
Length: 102 minutes
Director: Vincent Ward

Watch the full film here on Kanopy!

I love this film. Vincent Ward’s beautiful dramatic documentary explores the life of Tuhoe woman Puhi and her relationship to Rua Kenana and the community at Maungapohatu. Ward looks at the curse Puhi believed she lived under in an incredibly moving way, and the result is a jewel of a film.

Discover More:

You can also watch Vincent Ward’s first film about Puhi, In Spring One Plants Alone, on Kanopy.


The Deadlands

Year: 2013
Length: 107 minutes
Director: Toa Fraser

Watch the full film here on Beamafilm!

Woo hoo! Revenge and action abound in Toa Fraser’s movie starring James Rolleston and Lawrence Makoare. You gotta love the use of mau rākau – a traditional Māori martial art – and a script in te reo Māori!

Discover More:

If you want to start learning te reo Māori our recent Resources to Learn Māori blog can help with all sorts of tips to get you started.


The Pa Boys

Year: 2014
Length: 90 minutes
Director: Himiona Grace

Watch the full film here on Kanopy!

My whānau love this heartfelt film about a musician and his reggae band on a road trip of music and self discovery. Francis Kora is wonderful as Danny who is unsettled, and then opened up to his culture, when Tau (Matariki Whatarau) joins the band. Music, landscape, laughs and love – beautiful and simple.

Discover More:

The band in The Pa Boys sets out from Wellington where Danny lives. If you love the music scene in Wellington you can learn more about it on our dedicated Wellington Music page.

StayAtHomeFest: Comic Creators #1!


The moment has come. You know what we’re talking about: your secret dream of writing and drawing a graphic memoir of your childhood, full of precise, personal details, bright, expressive imagery and a bold title that sums up the first 18 years of your life in a single sentence. It won’t be easy. Many have tried, and many have failed. But we believe in you. You can do it! Just take that work notepad and scribble out all those old meeting minutes; steal the felt-tip pens from your child or flatmate’s bedroom. Then settle down and get started–we’re waiting to read it!

(You could also check out these interviews with some of our favourite cartoonists and associated resources first, if you need inspiration–or a distraction…)


JILLIAN TAMAKI

Most cartoonists have a FAQ section on their website, but not all FAQ sections have the question “What is it like to have a banned book?” But that’s exactly what happened to Jillian and Mariko Tamaki’s This One Summer, a coming of age story of two teenage girls that was one of the most challenged books of 2016. It’s also been called an “emotional tour-de-force of a comic, a perfect snapshot of the strange purgatory that lies between childhood and adulthood.” Enjoy!

Overdrive cover This One Summer, by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki (eBook)
“Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It’s their getaway, their refuge. Rosie’s friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. One of the local teens – just a couple of years older than Rose and Windy – is caught up in something bad…” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Overdrive: Did you know Jillian Tamaki grew up reading Archie comics, and is a big fan of Riverdale? Have a look at Archie–and the Riverdale comic adaptions–through Overdrive!

RBdigital: As well as her illustration, comic and blogging work, Jillian Tamaki also does embroidery. Take up your own crafting via RBdigital’s craft magazine selection.


THI BUI

Cartoonist and lecturer Thi Bui was born in 1978, just three months before the end of the Vietnam War. Bui and her family fled to America, and it is this story of escape, as well as the difficulties faced upon arrival in the States, that became the focus of Bui’s acclaimed 2017 graphic novel The Best We Could Do. The Best We Could Do has been described as “one of the first great works of socially relevant comics art of the Trump era.”

Overdrive cover The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui (eBook)
“This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

MasterFILE Complete: Thi Bui recently went to the island of Lesvos in Greece to learn about the refugee situation there. Follow her at her website, and learn more via MasterFILE Complete.

Story Box: Did you know that Thi Bui has also illustrated a children’s book, Chicken of the Sea, with her son? Check out more children’s stories via Overdrive and listen to readings via Story Box Library!


EMIL FERRIS

Reviews can be important for writers and illustrators; who doesn’t want to hear that people have engaged with–and like–your work? But author Emil Ferris took this a bit further when Forbes declared that her debut work, My Favorite Thing is Monsters, was of such quality that it was not only “one of the most profound, ambitious and accomplished creative works to appear in any medium this decade” but would transform graphic literature! (For more info, check out ‘I didn’t want to be a woman – being a monster was the best solution’.)

Discover More:

Oxford Art Online: Are you inspired by art galleries as much as Emil and Karen? Visit Oxford Art Online through our eLibrary!

Kanopy: Classic horror movies have also had a distinct impact on Emil Ferris’ work: watch them for yourself on one of our free film streaming services.


LYNDA BARRY

When Lynda Barry received her MacArthur fellowship in 2019, not one but two strands of her career in comics were highlighted: the groundbreaking work she’s produced since Ernie Pook’s Comeek was first released in 1979–including The Good Times Are Killing Me and One! Hundred! Demons!–and her ongoing role as a teacher. Her celebrated workshop on writing and creativity, ‘Writing the Unthinkable’, has been described as “freaky, vivid, and a lot of fun”–and also a lot of hard work!

Discover More:

Lynda.com: Did you know Lynda Barry has a course on Lynda.com? It’s true! Have a look via the link!

RBdigital: In 1991 Lynda Barry’s essay on the Gulf War (entitled “War”) was published in Mother Jones. Read the original essay here and check out the latest edition of Mother Jones via RBdigital.


DAVE MCKEAN

If you found yourself having nightmares after seeing the dementors in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, you have one person to blame: Dave McKean. Designing dementors is in fact a very small part of McKean’s output, which has included the distinctive covers for Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, illustrating the most successful graphic novel ever published (Arkham Asylum, 1989), producing the graphic comic Cages, directing three feature films and much, much more!

Overdrive cover The Sandman (1989), Volume 1, by Neil Gaiman (eBook)
“NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Neil Gaiman’s transcendent series SANDMAN is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo title and one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Lynda.com: Whether you love McKean’s films, illustration, photography or writing, Lynda.com has a tutorial to match!

Naxos Jazz Library: Did you know McKean founded the jazz label Feral Records? For more jazz–including iconic works by Chet Baker, Miles Davis and John Coltrane!–visit our premiere jazz streaming service.

Research your Ancestry in August

To celebrate Family History Month, Wellington City Libraries is holding ‘Ancestry in August’, a series of events for anyone interested in learning more about researching their family history.   There are events for those who are just starting out to research family history and also for those who may already have some research experience.

A Public Talk: Wellington Local History Resources
Friday 3rd August, 12:30pm -1:30pm

Come along to the Central Library ground floor and listen to our local history expert, Gábor Tóth, as he gives an overview of some of the lesser known sources available to research ancestors who may have lived in Wellington. This talk is free and you don’t need to book.

An introductory tour:  Genealogy Resources
Friday 10th August, 10:00am – 11:30am

Join Gábor for a tour of the family history resources available at the Central Library.

Learn about how to begin your family history research and the strengths and weaknesses of each resource. The talk will conclude with morning tea, when Gábor will demonstrate some of the online resources and talk about finds he has made. There is no charge for this event but numbers are limited and registration is required.
** UPDATE: This tour is now fully booked **

Preserve and research your family history
Tuesday 14th, Wednesday 22nd and Friday 31st
10:00am – 4:00pm

Register to reserve a librarian: for the final three weeks of ‘Ancestry in August’ we have some times that will be available for you to book in with a librarian to help you with family history research. During your appointment you can choose to:

  • Digitise some family documents and photos.
  • Get help with your family search.
  • Discuss your whakapapa research with the Māori Specialist, Ann Reweti.

There is no charge for these appointments but registration is required.
** UPDATE: these events are now fully booked **

It’s NZ Dance Week Question Time!

We are counting down to NZ Dance Week (5, 6, 7, 8… get it?) and are getting SO excited for what’s happening at Central Library that week, that librarians have been started tapping and jiving through the shelves! So in the lead up to Dancing Through The Pages we quizzed our upcoming performers about their favourite books and current reading habits!

In order of the week’s performances, we kicked things off with choreographer and Artistic Director of Java Dance Theatre Sacha Copland.

So Sacha, tell us what are you reading at the moment?
“I usually have a few books on the go at any one time. For fun I am reading The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur.  For research for my next work I am reading The Brilliant History of Colour in Art by Victoria Finlay and Chocolate Nations, Living and Dying for Cocoa in West Africa by Orla Ryan. I am really interested in exploring colour more. There is too much monochrome! Also my next work is about chocolate so I have to research every aspect of it before I make it, the good, the bad and the ugly.”

What about your all-time favourite book character?
“This is tricky to answer! Maybe Aomame, a martial-arts instructor and physical therapist from Haruki Murakami’s IQ84. I also love Aliena in The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.”

Next up we have contemporary dancer and choreographer Lucy Marinkovich along with saxophonist and composer Lucien Johnson who answered our questions with the same creative partnership that we will hear more about at ‘A Song & Dance’!

What are you two reading at the moment?
Lucien: “Talking to My Daughter about the Economy by Yanis Varoufakis
Lucy: “Bright Air Black by David Vann (in preparation for the NZ Festival show OrphEus: a dance opera).”

Do you two have a favourite dance book or magazine?
Lucien: “For me it’s a music book: Music is my Mistress by Duke Ellington.”
Lucy: “Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild.”

Lucien, what about your favourite book to recommend?
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin or Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T Anderson.”

For the final act we asked the same round of quickfire questions to the man behind ‘The Story of LARK’ Louglan Prior, RNZB dancer, choreographer and filmmaker extraordinaire!

What are you reading at the moment?
The History of Bees by Maja Lunde.”

Your all-time favourite book character?
“Albus Dumbledore.”
(We can’t fault you there, #WCLLovesHarryPotter!!)

What about your favourite book to recommend?
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.”

And final question, do you have a favourite dance book or magazine?
David Hallberg’s autobiography – A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back and DANZ Magazine.”

Want to know more about Dancing Through the Pages and what’s happening for NZ Dance Week? Check out wcl.govt.nz/danceweek for all of the info, add the Facebook Event to your calendar and follow the hashtag #nzdw2018! We hope to see you there!

Pro-tip: don’t miss our most recent biographies booklist! We’ve hand-picked a selection of some of the prominent dancers in history, from Gene Kelly to Michael Jackson. We couldn’t resist making a list of our favourite dance movies as well, what better reason to relive Footloose is there! Take a look!

NZDW 2018