Peter Wells Twenty Five years after he made history by publishing New Zealand's first gay-themed book, Dangerous Desires, with the author's real name on the cover, Peter Wells has today confirmed an impressive line-up for a LGBTIQ literary festival. Broadcaster Alison Mau, actor and playwright Victor Rodger, Whaitiri Mikaere aka Deisel Dyke Poet, novelist Witi Ihimaera, Labour party politician Grant Robertson, Metro magazine editor Susannah Walker, Home magazine editor Jeremy Hansen, YA novelist Paula Boock, novelist Stevan Eldred Grigg, biographer Joanne Drayton, memoirist, dancer and choreographer Douglas Wright and playwright Aroha Awarau will all feature in the samesame but different festival. “Audiences can expect interviews, panels and discussions on a broad number of issues affecting our lives," says Wells, who describes the inaugural event as "intelligent, funny, smart and controversial." He says it will seek to "broaden the audience beyond core LGBTIQ to include friends, family and those interested in celebrating difference.” Wells says written and spoken language became useful weapon he honed during his secondary school years. “I was always a very timid boy after I was bullied at Mt Albert Grammar. But I have to thank them, because I became a writer, as I could say on paper what I couldn't say out loud. “But when I am faced with an audience at festivals, I always have an involuntary reaction. For one moment the audience turns into the boys at MAGS and I close down. I learnt to get past this moment of primal fear and in fact I began to feel the enormous freedom of being able to say exactly what I wanted. I developed what is called 'a sharp tongue'. “This is one of the motivations behind me putting together, with a group of people, the country’s first LGBTIQ Writers' Festival... A sharp tongue has its uses,” he says. Samesame but different will run from February 12 - 14 during the Auckland Pride Festival. It has received support and funding from Creative New Zealand, The Wallace Foundation, AUT and GABA. GayNZ.com is also a supporter of the festival.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Thursday, 3rd December 2015 - 12:13am
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