I’m writing this from a hospital bed in Ward 67 Room 4c at Auckland Hospital, where I’m being treated for cancer. These are not orthodox words to introduce the third outing of the same same but different LGBTQI Writers Festival, but in one way they evoke risk, challenge and even maybe a kind of daring – as this festival has always set out to do. We started same same to give ourselves – our words, feelings, frustrations, our opinions, outrage and even our contemplated silences – a very special space in which we could communicate.
In three short years we have created a festival which is energetic and complex, acknowledging our brilliant elders, such as Renée, as well as attracting the brightest young talent New Zealand has to offer. Snapchat dude Tom Sainsbury stands beside Madeleine Sami; the sensation of the moment Hera Lindsay Bird alongside Courtney Sina Meredith and Best First Book award-winner Gina Cole. Same same 2018 is a complex queer mix, with visiting Australian writer and poet Quinn Eades, Wellington poet Chris Tse, provocative queers in academia as well as our always popular
Gala events. Pick and mix, pop in and go off; it is our pleasure to provide this picnic of words, verse, laughter, memory, insight, anger and self-realisation.