Stories from Home
The 2021 samesame but different festival is a time for us to shake off the upheaval of 2020. We invite you to our queer literary home, to sit back and be entertained by some of the best LGBTQI voices today and to celebrate our community’s literary achievements. This year it is no surprise that we are reflecting on the idea of home, as it has been particularly important to us over the past year.
This year’s programme features many stories from home. We explore the notion of home in our opening gala, what it means for our LGBTQI communities and how it shapes us. Our panel ‘Queer Bodies’ applies the concept of home to our most intimate residence – our bodies; while our ‘Far from Home’ session features writers exploring concepts of identity when you are far from your homeland.
This is a year of firsts for us. We have a new residence: thanks to Proud Centres, we will be based in the Ellen Melville Centre. Also our festival now covers five days instead of the customary two. Most importantly, all our events this year are FREE.
For the first time, this year we are featuring an honoured writer posthumously. Ngaio Marsh has long been regarded as a ‘Crime Queen’, but her life was shrouded in mystery. Her award-winning biographer, Joanne Drayton, explores her life, her secrets and her impact on rainbow communities.
As ever, we are incredibly grateful for the generous support of our sponsors, especially Creative New Zealand, Foundation North and The Rule Foundation, as well as our wonderful patrons. Their contributions mean that we can all enjoy and celebrate the inspiring creativity within our LGBTQI communities.
QUEER WRITING NOW
Friday July 24th, 7pm QUEER WRITING NOW: How do we understand what queer writing is now? And is that kind of understanding even possible? Incredibly talented poets Chris TSE and Emma BARNES are trying to answer those questions in their roles as editors of an upcoming anthology of queer writing from Aotearoa. They will be chatting with Chris BRICKELL about their collaboration, and the uplifting and (sometimes) arduous process of selecting the work of New Zealand queer writers for this eagerly anticipated collection.
Saturday 25th July, 11am MEDIA MATTERS: It's a time of unprecedented upheaval in media. Business models are broken, but old certainties are also being overturned. Sometimes it seems like there is more space to tell LGBTQI+ stories than there ever has been. So how do we tell our stories in this tumultuous age? How can queer voices and issues be better represented in mainstream media? Join journalists Alison MAU (Stuff) and Felix DESMARAIS (Rotorua Daily Post/NZME) as they talk to former Paperboy editor Jeremy HANSEN about the highs and lows of their careers, the tales they most want to see told, and how their own experiences shape the stories they tell.
Saturday 25th July, 2pm WRITING WORKSHOP: It’s not often you have writers with such substantial experience on hand to share the secrets of their craft. Join us as two writing veterans illuminate their approach, philosophy and practice, and share ideas for you to apply to your own work. So get your pens or keyboards at the ready for an interactive writing workshop with renowned author Renee, (Ngati Kahungungu/Scots) and acclaimed New York Times bestselling writer Joanne DRAYTON. They will be hosted by Gina COLE, an award-winning poet and fiction writer.
POETRY IN MOTION:
Sunday 26th July, 11am POETRY IN MOTION: The boundaries of poetry are constantly being tested and broken, as new generations of writers unearth undiscovered creative potential in the form. In this talk, two powerhouse poets discuss the breaking of boundaries and gender binaries in their work. Join Ockhams 2020 poetry finalist essa may RANAPIRI and international guest and poet Eileen MYLES in this don’t-miss discussion of personality and poetry with author Tulia THOMPSON.
THE LIBERATION AND RISKS OF WRITING A MEMOIR:
Sunday 26th July, 2pm THE LIBERATION AND RISKS OF WRITING A MEMOIR: How do LGBTQI+ people tell their stories? Is it possible to give an honest account of your personal history without alienating important people in your life? And in the absence of an abundance of queer voices, what responsibility does a writer hold for telling a story that also feels right and rings true to their communities? In this talk, first-time author Lil O’BRIEN - whose memoir Not That I’d Kiss a Girl was released in June 2020 - and our international guest, Australian author Nevo ZISIN, whose memoir Finding Nevo addressed gender transition, talk to Sam ORCHARD about their approaches to writing honestly and sensitively, and reaching for the truth.
Aotearoa’s only LGBTQI+ literary festival, Same Same but Different, is excited to announce a special online winter talk series later this month.
From July 24-26th, Two to the Power of Five: The Power of Queer Words pairs up fascinating queer writers for five fantastic online conversations. The sessions are all free and being held thanks to the support of Creative NZ.
The lineup of talent includes international guests Eileen Myles and Nevo Zisin, as well as an amazing lineup of Aotearoa’s top LGBTQI+ writing talent.
“Same Same But Different is held every February during Auckland’s Pride Festival, but the Covid-19 lockdown got us thinking about brightening up the middle of the year with some stimulating conversations between queer writers,” says Same Same But Different’s Simie Simpson. “Two to the Power of Five is an exciting event for us, because it gives us the chance us to invite more people to be inspired by the creativity of the writers we’re showcasing.”
“We thought really hard about how to set up a programme that people can enjoy in their PJs, with a cuppa from the comfort of their living rooms,” says Sam Orchard, Same Same But Different’s Creative Director. “We’ll record the sessions so people can watch them again whenever they feel like it - as well as entertaining and stimulating people on the day, we’re establishing what we know will be a great future resource for queer writers from all over Aotearoa.”
This is our first year without our beloved Peter Wells, and it is with him in mind that we have crafted this programme. He established the samesame but different festival five short years ago to celebrate the voices of existing and emerging LGBTQI writers in Aotearoa, and to create a space with a little bit of magic. His passion, his vision and his warmth are missed by us all.
Peter helped to reshape how New Zealanders saw sexuality and he created new ways for us to see ourselves. He had an incredible ability to make space to laugh at the absurdity of humanity and to insist that we do better. Peter had an insatiable drive to write, to find a way to precisely express the worlds he occupied. Written and spoken language were his weapon – choosing his words carefully and deliberately and using them like a blade, slicing to reveal something deeper within us or something hidden away within our collective consciousness.
The writers in this year’s festival echo some of these qualities. We are showcasing writers who push boundaries, explore new territories and create queer and fantastical worlds. Their literary orbit includes fantasy, science fiction, sex, romance and robots. They even traverse those weird and terrifying realms from childhood to adolescence. Ranging from acclaimed New Zealand playwright Victor Rodger to Australian writer Kelly Gardiner, our programme for 2020 celebrates the writers who are unafraid to change the literary landscape and boldly go where no Queer has gone before.
5 years ago Peter had a dream that same same but different could be New Zealand's own LGBTQI literary Festival. His enthusiasm has enabled us to deliver four amazing festivals since then sharing queer stories on a queer stage.
On the 18th of February 2019 his time came to an end. Thank you Peter for making so many things possible for so many people and also knowing when to be both carefully polite and also when to fight for what is right.
This is our fourth samesame but different Writers Festival . We’re growing up and growing out. This year, we have events at both the Auckland Art Gallery and the Basement Theatre, as well as our home nest at AUT University. We encompass a queer film screening and the only LGBTQI writing contest in Aotearoa (with increased prize money, thanks to the generosity of the Wallace Arts Foundation). One of the pleasing aspects of the festival is the number of younger writers coming through, as seen in the ‘Break-out new talent’ session.
We are the only LGBTQI writers festival in Aotearoa and it feels great that we have three warmly received and successful festivals behind us and that we’re keeping on keeping on growing. This is our kōrero, our five-day writing marae, our magic space wherein we become the centre of the world for a few days – so take advantage of it. We only survive through you buying tickets and persuading your friends to come along. We exist for you, but we can only continue if you gift us your strength and your aroha and your presence.
Click below to download the full programme:
We are delighted to announce that our application to the Creative New Zealand Arts Grant was successful, and as a result our festival will be one of the biggest yet. Many thanks to our board members, programme director and all our supporters.
The Same Same but Different festival is in the final stages of confirming it's programme for 2019, so stay tuned for an update shortly.
If you are interested in supporting our programme, why not become a patron of the festival.