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Former Poet Laureate excited to share latest work in Central Hawke’s Bay

Renowned poet, writer, Professor, and former New Zealand Poet Laureate, Selina Tusitala Marsh ONZM, will be making a memorable visit to Central Hawke’s Bay in April for a special evening at Hawke’s Bay’s oldest church.

Selina will speak with esteemed journalist and author Peter Malcouronne at the historic Pukehou Church on Saturday 13 April as part of the Between The Lines readers and writers festival.

“Hawkes Bay, birthplace of the Poets Laureate tokotoko and home to carver Jacob Scott, is a second home to me, as is Te Mata Winery!”, says Selina. “I’m excited to share from my latest work, Wot Knot You Got? and how this light, funny, and touching book based on the real life knots of kids, is encased in my own, most heart-wrenching knot of all”.

With Selina and Peter both deeply entrenched in the literary world, their shared past adds an intriguing layer to the conversation they're expected to have. "I’m so excited to be back and to korero with Peter Malcouronne, who not only knows my work intimately, but me! After all, we were boyfriend and girlfriend at Avondale College in the 7th Form!", says Selina.

Selina and Peter will be joined at the festival by a stellar lineup of guests speaking at some unique venues across Central Hawke’s Bay.

The festival, organised by a small team of book-loving volunteers, will run from 11 to 14 April and tickets are selling fast with some events almost sold out.

Local and bestselling author Charity Norman who is Patron of the festival recently described it as “enchanting, intimate, yet world-class”. “To say that this festival punches above its weight is an understatement”, says Charity, “and this year is poised to be our best ever”.

Spanning four days, the festival will commence with a program for young writers, providing primary school students with the chance to collaborate with Alan Dingley, the current Te Awhi Rito New Zealand Reading Ambassador, igniting their enthusiasm for language and literature.

Bestselling author Catherine Chidgey, who currently has two books on the New Zealand Top Ten Fiction list, will be speaking at the CHB Municipal Theatre on 11 April in conversation with Louise Ward of Wardini Books.

On 12 April, a panel of the three 2023 Ngaio Marsh Award winners, Charity Norman, Michael Bennett and Steve Braunias, will entertain listeners with tales of crime and mystery, led by bestselling local author Catherine Robertson, in the delightful c1908 country store in Ongaonga.

If you enjoy a sweet treat, don’t miss high tea at the Ongaonga Hall on 13 April with Petra Galler where you can sample some delicious cakes from her beautiful book “Butter, Butter”. Interviewer Doug Hales will speak to Petra about her decadent recipes inspired by her Jewish heritage.

The festival will conclude on 14 April with a festival finale celebrating our local authors. Tickets for this event are free, but registration is still required so numbers can be monitored.

Sponsorship for this year’s event comes from The Creative Communities Scheme, The Community Pride and Vibrancy Fund and Paper Plus Waipukurau.

The full programme and ticket information is available on the Between The Lines website at, so get in quick before tickets sell out.

Between the Lines - CHB’s Readers and Writers Festival runs from Thursday, April 11 to Sunday, April 14.

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