Small Press Fest is bringing together small presses and independent publishers from across the motu to Ōtepoti for three days of celebrations, workshops, talks, readings, and panel discussions.
16-18
Aug 2024
at:
Yours
Pioneer Women's Hall
New Athenaeum Library
DPAG
Our lineup for 2024 includes: Dead Bird Books (Tāmaki/Ōtepoti), Tender Press (Te Whanganui-a-Tara), Starling Mag (Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Ōtepoti), Āporo Press (Tāmaki), Awa Wahine (Whangārei), The Physics Room (Ōtautahi), Samoa House Library (Tāmaki), DPAG x Emma Neale (Ōtepoti) and Satellites
We’re asking:
Small Press Fest platforms writers, creators, designers, artists and publishers who work outside of the conventional publishing industry to open doors for conversation and collaboration. SPF is an Evening Books project. Questions? Contact us via instagram. Take a look at our 2023 archive
Supported by: City of Literature, Creative New Zealand, Dunedin City Council, Copyright Licensing NZ, Graduate Women Otago
Friday 16th
6pm
Welcome / Friday Readings
Yours
8pm
Dead Bird Books
Yours
Saturday 17th
10am
Market
Pioneer Women's Hall
12pm
Tender Press
Yours
2pm
Āporo Press
New Athenaeum Library
3pm
Physics Room
Yours
4pm
Awa wahine
New Athenaeum Library
6pm
SPF Shared Dinner
Yours
8pm
Panel Discussion: The politics of being small
Yours
Sunday 18th
10am
DPAG x Emma Neale x Bowstring
DPAG
12pm
Starling Mag
Yours
2pm
Satellites
Yours
4pm
Samoa House Library
Yours
Friday Night Readings: Join us for a selection of readings by this year’s poets and writers.
Dead Bird Books presents Make books - Change the world: Join Dominic and Sam from Dead Bird Books as they discuss starting a press with no experience, what they've learned along the way, and why it's so important for us to take control of our industry.
Market: A chance to support the work of small presses from across the motu. From 10am until 4pm at the Otago Pioneer Women's Hall. Please bring cash.
Tender Press - What is the future of small press publishing? If we imagine an idealised future of small press publishing, what does it look like? Facilitated by Tender Press, this will be an open discussion about the goals for long-term publishing and building a sustainable industry. Stacey Teague and Ash Davida Jane will discuss their aspirations for the future of their press and invite others to share their own. These goals could relate to funding and finances, working relationships, time commitments, how we recognise success, and more. As a community, we can discuss how to take steps towards a future that values authors, publishers, and readers.
After Me / After Us with Āporo Press: To write after someone is to be inspired by their work and to engage in conversation with it. What if we wrote after ourselves? Āporo Press publisher and bad apple editor Damien Levi invites you to come chat and write together—discussing where we find inspiration and who we reference in our work. Drawing on the kaupapa of Spoiled Fruit, in which contributors were asked to write new work responding to their own poetry, we will write new poems inspired by New Zealand poets or even build on our own existing work.
Do you want to go steady? The Physics Room: Spiralling out from The Physics Room’s own back catalogue, we’ll revisit some of our earliest publications to think through improving our long-term relationship with art publishing. From the South Island Art Projects newsletters (1992–1995) and the provocative LOG Illustrated (1997–2002) years, projects conceived outside the gallery like Reading Walking Writing (2015), to recent exhibition-responsive titles like the forthcoming Ana Iti: I am a salt lake (2024) among others, we ask: how can we be better readers? Can the archive be energetic? Who or what would be supported by more sustained engagement with small press past, present and future?
Creating Our Own with Awa Wahine: Some of our most fantastic independent publishers, small media, and arts kaupapa came out of a want for a space to share ideas and perspectives that had nowhere else to go. Editor and writer Ataria Sharman (Ngāpuhi/Tapuika) invites you to join an informal kōrero on the sustainable creation of spaces for creative expression, her kaupapa Awa Wahine and the ideation, publication and marketing of their pukapuka, which will be available to view. Please bring your pātai.
SPF Shared Dinner: Come break bread with the organisers and participants of SPF24. Kai provided by our friends at Yours, koha appreciated.
Panel Discussion - The politics of being small: feat. Murdoch Stephens, Emma Ng, and Damien Levi, chaired by Jennifer Cheuk. Together we'll be discussing what happens when you spot a gap and decide to fill it yourself — whether it's with an indie publication, small press, or grassroots archive. What is it about these forms that draw in political/activist collaborators? And, in an increasingly underfunded arts sector, how can we still run on our own steam without running out of steam?
Special event - DPAG x Bowstring x Emma Neale: An ekphrastic poetry workshop in Stars, lands: Writers of all experience levels are invited to take part in a hands-on writing workshop responding to artwork by Nicola Farquhar currently on show at DPAG. Led by poet Emma Neale, this workshop will guide writers through creating ekphrastic poems – poetry written about works of art. Emma Neale is one of many writers published in the accompanying exhibition reader, so this session will be specially shaped around themes within both the exhibition and the publication Stars, lands. Bowstring is a new project initiated by Nicola Farquhar and Warren Olds to publish and distribute materials by themselves and friends. Free – limited spaces, bookings open soon via DPAG
If you build it - Starling on making space for community: You’ve felt a gap in the Aotearoa arts scene that you know could be filled with something brilliant, but how to go about that? Questions welcome! Starling editors, Francis Cooke and Louise Wallace will talk about their experiences over the last nine years with establishing the online journal for young New Zealand creatives – what’s been most surprising, beneficial, challenging, and what the future may hold. We will also read some of our favourite pieces from Ōtepoti Starling writers. Expect an open conversation about why the unexpected rewards of making something and keeping it going in a fairly brutal arts economy, make it worth taking the plunge.
Desire Lines - finding new paths through the Satellites archive: The Satellites digital archive is an ever-evolving resource for students, artists, curators and anyone with an interest in Aotearoa Asian art. It includes artists and artworks dating as far back as the 1880s and spans creative pursuits ranging from zines to bonsai to K-pop choreography, celebrating legacy artists such as Guy Ngan alongside new generations of writers, musicians, architects and more. It’s a work in progress — and at this workshop we’ll ‘curate’ different ways to discover what’s in the archive. This might involve pulling together artists and works who explore similar themes or topics, or even archive entries connected by the same events in history. Please bring a device you can use to explore the archive — this could be a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop.
Samoa House Library x SPF *curriculum* Reading Group: Join Samoa House Library's alternative education *curriculum*, providing a horizontal structure within which independent practitioners can share knowledge and understanding on a peer-to-peer basis. On the day, SHL will provide a reader of texts from which our discussion will depart from, *curriculum* in this context will provide an opportunity for an informal discussion where we read out-loud together, and ask and answer questions from the chosen texts. This will form part of a general conversation around research and archiving as practice and Samoa House Library's role as collector and distributors of small press in Aotearoa. At a macro level, *curriculum* attempts to reconsider and reconfigure the social formations within artistic education, research, and practice benefitting the organisers, speakers, and public alike, and deliberately upsetting conventional distinctions between these positions, encouraging learning around the many contexts of all those involved.