Back to All Events

Writing from life, plus music

Come along to our monthly cultural extravaganza and find out some secrets.

With talks and performances by:
* Caren Wilton (oral historian, writer, editor and author of My Body, my business
* Deborah Shepard (biographer, latest book The Writing Life)
* Alex Taylor (musician)

Plus Q&A, snacks and even a glass of wine. IKR!


Deborah Shepard and Caren Wilton talk about their recent books based on oral history interviews, and the art of writing from life. Deborah Shepard's book The Writing Life: Twelve New Zealand authors is a series of conversations with leading New Zealand writers. Caren Wilton's My Body, My Business: New Zealand sex workers in an era of change is a collection of life stories of sex workers.

Alex Taylor will play some songs.

Anna Livesey, poet and corporate strategist, will be your MC.

CAREN WILTON is an oral historian, writer and editor, and was the recipient of three New Zealand Oral History Awards for her series of interviews with sex workers (on which My Body, My Business is based). An editor at Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand for almost nine years, she is also a freelance book editor. She was the coordinator of an oral history project focusing on Upper Hutt in the 1960s for Upper Hutt City Library in 2015–16, and is the author of short- fiction collection The Heart Sutra (Otago University Press, 2003). She lives in the Wairarapa.

DEBORAH SHEPARD is a biographer, oral historian and teacher of memoir. She has also been a film, television and media studies lecturer at the University of Auckland and has written entries on women filmmakers for the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, the Le Dictionnaire Universel des Creatrices, (The Universal Dictionary of Women Creators) published in Paris in 2013  and an essay update ‘Reframing Women. Gender et Cinéma en Aotearoa Nouvelle-Zélande (1999-2014) for a special issue on gender, globalisation and film for the transdisciplinary, French-based and UNESCO-supported journal Diogenes. 

Her major publications include her new book The Writing Life (2018) based on oral history interviews with twelve of New Zealand’s most acclaimed and admired authors. Other works include   Her Life’s Work: Conversation with Five New Zealand Women (2009), Between the Lives: Partners in Art (2005), Reframing Women: a History of New Zealand Film (2000) and Giving Yourself to Life: A Journal of Pain, Hope and Renewal  (2015).  Deborah teaches introductory and master classes in memoir, biography and journal writing at the University of Auckland’s Public Programmes and is a life writing mentor for the New Zealand Society of Authors. She lives in Auckland. 

ALEX TAYLOR is a composer, musician and poet based in Auckland. While mainly known for his compositions for classical musicians, he also moonlights as a songwriter, and his first album The First The Fool is available on bandcamp at https://bellfrog.bandcamp.com. His poetry collection 'vocoder lorry' is published by Compound Press and is available at https://compoundpress.org/books/vocoder-lorry/

ANNA LIVESEY is an Auckland-based poet, comic and corporate strategist.  Anna’s most recent book is Ordinary Time, available here: https://theopenbook.co.nz/products/ordinary-time. You can listen to Anna interview New Zealand book people in the podcast Ears Wide Open, available here https://theopenbook.co.nz/ears-wide-open or where ever you get your podcasts.

Caren Wilton

Caren Wilton

Deborah Shepard

Deborah Shepard

Alex Taylor

Alex Taylor

Anna Livesey

Anna Livesey