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Australian feminist features in pop-up gig following fifth LitCrawl

Pirate & Queen have announced a pop-up event with Melbourne feminist Clementine Ford in the wake of their fifth annual LitCrawl festival programme in November.

Clementine Ford (above) is a provocative author, columnist, speaker and feminist thinker who uses humour and distilled fury to lay bare ongoing issues affecting women, and has gained a huge and loyal readership amongst both women and men.

She is currently touring Australia with her new book Boys Will Be Boys, an attack on what she sees as “toxic masculinity, and will speak at a stand-alone LitCrawl event on Friday 23 November from 7.30pm – 8.30pm at Victoria University’s Memorial Theatre.

Ford’s appearance will be a delayed coda for the main LitCrawl festival, which already has a strong feminist theme permeating its four-day run from 8 to 11 November, featuring over 50 events.

Auckland writer Lizzie Marvelly will speak with Double Denim’s Angela Meyer about her memoir The F Word: Growing up Feminist in Aotearoa. Michele A’Court leads a discussion with Australian writer Zoya Patel (above), journalist Sasha Borissenko and Marvelly about the toll involved in taking down the patriarchy. And Berlin-based salon The Dead Ladies Show will visit New Zealand for the first time on Sunday 11 November, as four Wellington women discuss four dead ladies who all led extraordinary lives.

Men also have a part to play, and poetry is to the fore during a mix of ticketed and free events.

LitCraw kicks off on Thursday 8 November with Iranian-American poet Kaveh Akbar (above) talking to RNZ’s Kim Hill about the extraordinary success of his debut collection, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, which has been acclaimed worldwide.

Akbar is also featured in Friday night’s poetry showcase, alongside fellow internationals Raymond Antrobus (UK, below) and Doireann Nì Ghrìofa (Ireland), with Aotearoa talents Dominic Hoey, Tayi Tibble, Erik Kennedy, Hadassah Grace and Ray Shipley.

The main event – a koha-entry epic crawl through 25 events in three sessions between 6.00 and 9.30pm across Wellington’s CBD – returns on Saturday 10 November.

With its characteristic spread of eclectic sessions in unusual venues, the crawl features over 130 writers from all over the country.

Highlights include a conversation about killing off characters (with authors Steff Green, Elizabeth Knox and Annaleese Jochems), Lit-Synch for your Life (where writers talk about musical influence and drag queens lip synch the selections), the True Stories Told Live session in the Central Library (one of the venues where audiences find it easy to secure a space), and the much-loved session in Alistair’s Music, which this year will feature Nadia Reid (get in early – that space is tiny!).

Families are catered for with the inaugural KidsCrawl on Saturday morning at Wellington Central Library and with a special event on Te Tiriti o Waitangi at National Library on Sunday morning.

Food lovers should gobble up the chance to go on Beth Brash’s FoodCrawl, in which the programme manager of Wellington on a Plate and author of The Cuba Street Project takes a limited capacity group on a tour of the city’s iconic food spots.

LitCrawl started in 2014 with 15 events in one night.

Claire Mabey of Pirate & Queen, co-director of the Festival with her partner in life and business Andrew Laking, said at the programme launch that she is “both surprised and delighted” to be celebrating five years of the event.

“We always thought of LitCrawl as the bringing together of things that we love about Wellington and New Zealand’s writing community, and that remains true today. The venues, the writers, the publishers, the crawlers — everyone has a big part to play.”

Full programme and ticketing information is online at