Wellington Scoop

50 events over four days for LitCrawl’s fifth birthday in November

News from LitCrawl
Wellington’s favourite little festival will be celebrating its fifth birthday this November. LitCrawl started in 2014 with 15 events in one night. This year, the festival spans four days and features over 50 events.

Co-Director Claire Mabey says, ‘We are both surprised and delighted to be celebrating five years! It is heartening to be here today with a plump programme and the support of so many. We always thought of LitCrawl as the bringing together of things that we love about Wellington and New Zealand’s writing community, and that remains true today. The venues, the writers, the publishers, the crawlers — everyone has a big part to play.’


On Thursday 8 November the festival begins with Iranian-American poet Kaveh Akbar who will be talking to RNZ’s Kim Hill about his extraordinary success. His debut book Calling a Wolf A Wolf has been acclaimed worldwide.


A poetry showcase on Friday night 9 November features Akbar, alongside other international guests, Raymond Antrobus (UK) (above) and Doireann Nì Ghrìofa (IRE), with Aotearoa talents Dominic Hoey, Tayi Tibble, Erik Kennedy, Hadassah Grace and Ray Shipley.

The epic crawl returns on Saturday 10 November with 25 events over 3.5hours between 6pm – 9.30pm throughout Wellington’s CBD. With its characteristic spread of eclectic sessions in unusual venues, the crawl features over 130 writers from all over Aotearoa. Highlights include: a conversation about killing off characters (with authors Steff Green, Elizabeth Knox, Annaleese Jochems); True Stories Told Live (including Lizzie Marvelly, Raymond Antrobus, Eirlys Hunter, Victor Rodger and more); Lit-Synch for your Life (where writers talk about musical influence and drag queens lip synch the selections); and the much-loved session in Alistair’s Music will feature Nadia Reid this year.

Throughout the weekend the LitCrawl Extended programme offers a mix of ticketed and free events. ‘Huge thanks in particular this year to Chris Tse, our 2018 guest curator’, says Mabey, ‘Chris’ sessions in both the crawl and Extended programmes are fun, meaningful and have energised what we are offering’.

Families are catered for with the inaugural KidsCrawl on Saturday morning at Wellington Central Library and with a special event on Te Tiriti o Waitangi at National Library on Sunday morning. Food lovers will jump at the chance to go on Beth Brash’s FoodCrawl in which the food guru and author of The Cuba Street Project takes a limited capacity group on a tour of Wellington’s iconic food spots.

There is a strong feminist theme running throughout the festival with Lizzie Marvelly speaking with Angela Meyer about her memoir The F Word: Growing up Feminist in Aotearoa, and Michele A’Court leading a discussion with Australian writer Zoya Patel, Marvelly and journalist Sasha Borissenko about the toll taking down the patriarchy can have. The festival sees Berlin-based salon The Dead Ladies Show arrive to New Zealand for the first time on Sunday 11 November: four Wellington women present on four dead ladies who all led extraordinary lives. LitCrawl co-Director, Claire Mabey, also announced at the programme launch that Australian author of Fight Like a Girl and Boys Will Be Boys Clementine Ford is coming to Wellington in November with dates and event information to follow soon.

The full programme and ticketing information is online at litcrawl.co.nz

LitCrawl 2018 is supported by: Creative New Zealand, Wellington City Council, Wellington Community Trust, Pub Charity, Culture Ireland, Embassy of the United States of America, Australian High Commission, Vic Books, Victoria University Press, Bowen Galleries, Culture Ireland, #Suffrage125

LitCrawl Wellington is a Wellington Treasure Trust activity, produced by Pirate & Queen.