This is our first year without our beloved Peter Wells, and it is with him in mind that we have crafted this programme. He established the samesame but different festival five short years ago to celebrate the voices of existing and emerging LGBTQI writers in Aotearoa, and to create a space with a little bit of magic. His passion, his vision and his warmth are missed by us all.
Peter helped to reshape how New Zealanders saw sexuality and he created new ways for us to see ourselves. He had an incredible ability to make space to laugh at the absurdity of humanity and to insist that we do better. Peter had an insatiable drive to write, to find a way to precisely express the worlds he occupied. Written and spoken language were his weapon – choosing his words carefully and deliberately and using them like a blade, slicing to reveal something deeper within us or something hidden away within our collective consciousness.
The writers in this year’s festival echo some of these qualities. We are showcasing writers who push boundaries, explore new territories and create queer and fantastical worlds. Their literary orbit includes fantasy, science fiction, sex, romance and robots. They even traverse those weird and terrifying realms from childhood to adolescence. Ranging from acclaimed New Zealand playwright Victor Rodger to Australian writer Kelly Gardiner, our programme for 2020 celebrates the writers who are unafraid to change the literary landscape and boldly go where no Queer has gone before.