Three towns, three poets: Southern Haunts

5 May 2018 4:00pm

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Is it something in the water? Or is it just a case of right people, right place? Three Southern writers who have grown their careers up together and separately in and around Wanaka are taking their talents on a whistle-stop tour of some of their favourite southern haunts: Wanaka, Dunedin, Lyttleton.

Laura Williamson, Annabel Wilson and Liz Breslin (detailed bios below) will be performing their poetry, and probably each other’s too (and definitely including a Star Wars poems at their first gig at Good Rotations in Wanaka, since it is happening on May the Fourth) in a series of shows that promise to be entertaining, thought-provoking and lyrically lush. All three are published poets and also write in other genres. They’ve been friends and mutual supporters for over a decade. They met when Laura and Liz were running Poetic Justice Wanaka, an open mic group, and they’ve all taken on different writing paths and challenges. This tour is their celebration of friendship in the word.

Laura says, “A lot of the time when you’re doing your own writing, you’re working in the margins. So it’s going to be great to head out and celebrate where we’re at like this with Annabel and Liz.”

Laura Williamson is the co-author of the Blue Moments Project (which toured to Dunedin last year), a poem and song cycle. She is also the editor of Spoke, a national New Zealand mountain bike magazine and the general manager of the Southern Lakes Festival of Colour. Laura’s first book, The Bike and Beyond: Life on Two Wheels in Aotearoa New Zealand, is out now as part of the BWB Text series from Bridget Williams Books. In the past 20 years, her articles, stories and poems have appeared in publications around the world, including KiaOra: The Inflight Magazine of Air New Zealand, North & South, Groove Guide, The Dominion Post, The Press, Otago Daily Times, The Southland Times, The Melbourne Age, Wet Ink Magazine, Mountain Biking Australia and New Zealand Ski and Snow.

Annabel Wilson is a writer from Wanaka. Her work has been published in journals in NZ and overseas. Her play No Science to Goodbye has been performed at the Festival of Colour, BATS and Te Pou theatre . She is currently developing a new play called Todo Verano.

She has been awarded the RAK Mason fellowship at NZ Pacific Studio, the inaugural Astalasioan Association of Writers’ Programmes Emerging Writers’ Prize and a residency at the Robert Lord Writers’ Cottage. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing through Massey University. She also runs and NZ arts, adventure and culture guide at

Liz Breslin's first collection of poems, Alzheimer’s and a Spoon, was published by Otago University Press in 2017 and listed as one of the NZ Listener’s Top 100 books. Her poems are journaled in Landfall, the Café Reader, Takahe, Bravado, Poetry NZ Yearbook and other places in NZ, overseas and online. She also writes plays, stories, reviews, articles and a fortnightly column – Thinking Allowed – for the Otago Daily Times. Liz is comfy on the page and the stage, was second runner up in the 2014 New Zealand Poetry Slam in Wellington, did a spoken word piece and a collated-audience-response poem at the 2016 TEDx Queenstown and came third in the Charles Causley Trust International Poetry Competition the same year.

For more information:
027 622 5075


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