Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Book Launch- Rere Takitahi Flying Solo


Come to the Athenaeum and celebrate the launch of a new anthology of collected writings on the experience of solo parenthood and differently-structured families in Aotearoa New Zealand. This event will feature readings from local contributors.
All welcome, light refreshments provided.
Arrive from 5.30pm for a 6pm start.
Including over fifty writers from diverse ethnic and demographic communities (representing parents/grandparents/matua, offspring/rangatahi, educators, doctors, social workers, researchers, creatives and other disciplines) ‘Rere Takitahi/Flying Solo’ eviscerates the lived experience of an often neglected and misunderstood sector of society, focusing attention on aspects of their lives that will resonate with readers who have experienced similar.
From Katherine Mansfield’s sinister story about an abandoned, single mother trying to survive in early 19th century rural New Zealand, to Jess Young’s moving poem about wet nappies hanging throughout the house while her milk lets down during her WINZ appointment, to Fiona Farrell’s intellectually disabled Skinny Louie, who births her child all alone in the orchid house at the Dunedin Botanic Gardens, to Alexandra Balm’s mother and son migrating to New Zealand from eastern Europe, to Michael Botur’s solo father going to great lengths to support his little girl, ‘Rere Takitahi/Flying Solo’ explores the fates of alternatively-structured families and single parents through short and micro-fiction, essay, memoir, poetry and reportage.
JCL Purchase (aka Jenny Purchase) is a senior secondary teacher of English, French, and ESOL but has also taught an eclectic range of subjects in the tertiary sector. Possessing extensive academic and business writing experience, since completing a master’s degree in creative writing at AUT in 2010, and a further Post-Graduate Diploma in Communication Studies in 2011, she has branched increasingly into creative writing, scriptwriting, reviewing and article writing. Some of her work has been published in journals, publications, anthologies, and online, and she released a collection of short stories, ‘Transit Lounge’ in 2022 (Lasavia Publishing). One of Jenny’s short stories received Creative New Zealand funding for a short film. She has also received special mentions in the Katherine Mansfield Short Story Competition and the Aeon Competition. She is currently working on an epic historical novel in the classic tradition and a memoir/philosophical reflection on her life and times. She campaigns tirelessly for magazines, newspapers, and periodicals to publish more short fiction and poetry.
AJ (Angela) Woolf is a writer and artist living in Marlborough. She has published short stories and currently has four novels ready for publication. Several of Angela’s short stories and novels have reached the finals in competitions such as the Michael Gifkins Prize, and she received third place in the Zephyr Short Story Competition in 2020.
Both editors are former solo parents and members of alternative families.

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