Yarns in Barns event co-ordinator David Hedley. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Wairarapa’s 10th biennial ‘Yarns in Barns’, the region’s long-established Festival of Reading will run this year from October 8-18 with 18 events involving 24 authors.

In 2020, ‘Yarns in Barns’ is presenting events in association with Kokomai Creative Festival and the Featherston events featuring Tom Scott and Ian Trafford are in association with Featherston Booktown.

Organisers said it was a coup to have such an illustrious identity as former prime minister and ambassador to the US, Jim Bolger, as the guest of honour to officially launch this year’s festival on Friday October 9, when he and writer David Cohen would recount stories from his book Fridays.

A selection of other highlights include: Dr Hinemoa Elder talking about her inspirational book Aroha – Maori Wisdom for a Contented Life Lived in Harmony with our Planet; Stacy Gregg telling Pony Club Secrets to horse lovers; pathologist Dr Cynric Temple Camp on life and death, crime and forensics as featured in his book, The Quick and the Dead; renowned animal trainer and behaviouralist Mark Vette, and author of Zen Heart: What I have learnt from Animals and Life, featuring at this year’s iconic Yarn in a Barn event; and Tom Scott discussing Searching for Charlie, his biography of war hero Charles Upham.

Event co-ordinator David Hedley said, “we’re delighted to have put together such a varied programme with fascinating New Zealanders talking about their books and experiences at venues from Featherston in the south all the way through the valley to Pukaha in the north Wairarapa”.

‘Yarns in Barns’ is a co-operative community enterprise to foster a love of reading and the printed book initiated by Hedleys Books, Fraser Books, the Masterton District Library, Wairarapa Library Service, and now supported by the Kokomai Creative Festival.

  • More detail is available from Hedleys Books and libraries throughout the region.
  • Programme and tickets are available at www.yarnsinbarns.co.nz.


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