2022 programme: LEGACY

Thank you so much to everyone who tuned into our online 2022 Festival, thank you so much to all the truly incredible writers who joined us this year, thank you to our Board for putting together this amazing line up and thank you to our sponsors and supporters without whom this free Festival wouldn’t be possible. 

If you enjoyed the Festival, please let us know! Below is a link to an evaluation form that lets us collect valuable information for our reporting. We super appreciate it if you can take the time to fill it out!


You can also read more about what happened in the 2022 Festival below. We’re hoping to be back in September with in person events that got postponed, so hopefully see you then and in the meantime, stay well, stay safe!

About the 2022 Festival

The very first samesame but different festival in 2016 saw Peter Wells provide a space for LGBTQI+ writers and readers to come together in a unique way. 2020 was our first festival without Peter, however his legacy continues.

This year’s theme of legacy is a nod to Peter, but also to our broader communities – our own families, and our LGBTQI+ community – who are sometimes our only family, and those who have fought for us, written for us, or read to us.

The legacy of this festival is both a gift and an inheritance. It is one we don’t take lightly nor too seriously. We want to continue to bring you, the reader and the writers, a festival that celebrates our stories and lives.

Be inspired by new writing and by writing outside the lines, and writing that deals with the hard stuff. Reflect on who we are, who we write for and where we come from. Join us and our wonderful line up of writers. 

This year’s festival has been a collaborative effort, put together by a volunteer board that comprises the following talented and passionate people: Joanne Drayton, Michael Giacon, Hiraani Himona, Lily Holloway, Nathan Joe, Molloy, Sam Orchard and Ian Watt. 

Simie Simpson


Friday Night Gala: Queer Inspiration

Friday, February 18th 7:30 – 9:00pm Online

At this year’s Friday Night Gala our wonderful line-up of writers will discuss the LGBTQI+ writing that has shaped and influenced them. They will continue this legacy by writing about the work that has been important to them as writers.

Flash fiction writer Jack Remiel Cottrell is joined by poet Rebecca Hawkes, writer and curator Tendai Mutambu and poet essa may ranapiri. Chaired by Rhion Munro. Refreshments will be available before this event, from 7pm


Writing Outside the ‘Lines’: Non-Traditional Writing

Saturday, February 19th 10:30am – 11:30am Online

LGBTQI+ writers have often written in the margins, existing outside of the mainstream. This panel explores that idea and the forms of writing that aren’t always considered ‘literary’, and who gets to decide what is and isn’t ‘literary’.

We have invited renowned comedian Eli Matthewson, rapper and songwriter Randa, activist Shaneel Lal and journalist Murphy to speak to the importance of varied forms of writing, and how their writing moves, shapes, performs, influences and excites. Chaired by the irrepressible Sam Te Kani.

By Ourselves, For Ourselves

Saturday, February 19th 12:00pm – 1:00pm Online

LGBTQI+ is not our only identity, and understanding intersectionality helps us acknowledge how our queer communities have access to varying privilege. Our culture and gender influence how we are treated and perceived by the world. 

Join insightful essayist Rose Lu, ‘peddler of horny fiction’ Sam Te Kani, new novelist Rebecca K Reilly and spoken word poet Takunda Muzondiwa for an hour of stimulating discussion. Chaired by award-winning poet Chris Tse.


Writing the Hard Stuff

Saturday, February 19th 2:00pm – 3:00pm Online

Writing about our own experiences can sometimes trigger trauma and distress. How do we write about the ‘hard stuff’, and how can this writing help others? Narrative therapist Tom Hamilton leads this panel of diverse writers, who explore the vast array of emotions and experiences that make up our lives in their poetry, plays and articles. The panel comprises award-winning theatre director and playwright Shane Bosher, performance poet, actor and writer Daniel Goodwin, artist and writer Vanessa Mei Crofsky and poet essa may ranapiri. Chaired by the one and only Tom Hamilton.

Honoured Writer: Courtney Sina Meredith

Saturday, February 19th 3:30pm – 4:30pm Online

 From award-winning poetry to essays and children’s books, Courtney Sina Meredith has a vast body of work that spans genres, and has even been called ‘genre-bending’. Her bold, self-assured style of writing has attracted attention across Aotearoa and on the international stage. Courtney’s work delves into issues such as racism, sexism and poverty and draws on her Samoan roots. In conversation with literary luminary Jeremy Hansen.


The Peter Wells Lecture: Gina Cole

Saturday, February 19th 5:00pm – 6:00pm Online

Gina Cole is of Fijian, Scottish and Welsh descent. She is an Honorary Fellow in Writing at the University of Iowa and she holds a PhD in creative writing from Massey University. In 2017 she won the Best First Book Award at the Ockham NZ Book Awards for her story collection Black Ice Matter. Her forthcoming SFF novel titled Na Viro is a work of Pasifika futurism. Gina Cole discusses the legacy of LGBTQI+ writing, the role it has to play in queer liberation and who gets to write the narrative.


Book Launch: Shelter by Douglas Lloyd Jenkins

Saturday, February 19th 6:00pm – 6:45pm Online

Samesame but Different and Bateman Books are pleased to officially launch Shelter, the first novel by writer, broadcaster and former museum director, Douglas Lloyd Jenkins. Please join us in welcoming this new book into the world!

Douglas Lloyd Jenkins is the award-winning author of several books and is well-known to New Zealanders for his television presentations on design and architecture and his columns in magazines such as ‘NZ Home’ and ‘The New Zealand Listener’. 


For those itching to get their hands on Shelter, go to the link below – also available at all good bookshops!


Looking back, Looking forward: The legacy of Takataapui/LGBQTI+ writers 

Saturday, February 19th 7:00pm – 8:30pm Online

This Saturday Night Special is a celebration of the new groundbreaking anthology, Out Here: An Anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa. This book is a rare milestone, and tonight’s event provides an opportunity for reflection through the words and meditations of our special panellists. Chair Joanne Drayton leads a discussion on this landmark publication with its editors Chris Tse and Emma Barnes, while some of its contributors, including Michael Giacon, Gina Cole, Pelenakeke Brown and Ruby Solly will read from their work.

For the Love of Nancy Drew

Sunday, February 20th 11:00am – 12:00pm Online

R.W.R. McDonald’s award-winning novel The Nancys and the sequel, Nancy Business are fast-paced, clever, funny and heart-warming. They are the ultimate queer feel-good novels, featuring a sassy heroine and the best gay uncles. This is the ultimate Sunday morning – grab your coffee and snuggle up with your beloved / your cat / your perfectly satisfactory self and listen in! Sam Orchard and Melbourne-based New Zealand author Rob McDonald will discuss all things queer and Nancy Drew.


Tracing Lapses Queer Zine Workshop


Ticket holders will be notified of new date, time and location 

Zine culture arose from the advent of the photocopier and the spirit of anarcho-punk and DIY culture. Artist collective bttm methodology (val smith and Richard Orjis) will run a free workshop that explores this dynamic, low-fi, low-cost mode of publication. Assembling text, marks, image or movements together, the provocation ‘tracing lapses’ will be used to generate individual or collaborative creative responses in a relaxed, enjoyable and open-ended way. Poetry, prose, fragmented thought, found and recorded imagery, movement, collage and drawing will all be invited and welcome. The final zine will be scanned and made available free online.


Emma Barnes (Pākehā, they/them) lives in Aro Valley in Pōneke/Wellington. Their poetry has been published in journals including Landfall, Turbine/Kapohau, Cordite and Best New Zealand Poems. They are the author of the poetry collection I Am in Bed with You (2021) and a co-editor of Out Here: An anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa (2021) alongside Chris Tse. When not focusing on poetry, Emma is into powerlifting and deep conversations with anyone who’ll have them.

Shane Bosher is an award-winning theatre director, playwright and producer, currently based in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland. He creates work which galvanises audiences, telling stories which interrogate the human confusion, with a particular focus on the culture of sexuality, the faultlines of class and the revolution of family. From 2001 to 2014, Shane was the Artistic Director of Silo Theatre. As a playwright, his work interrogates how we hold our histories. In 2018 he won the Adam Award for Best NZ Play for Everything After, and in 2021 he received an Arts Foundation Laureate.

Pelenakeke Brown (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and writer. She has presented her work internationally and had her work featured in The New York Times and Art in America. She was recognised with a Pacific Toa award at the Creative New Zealand Pacific Arts Awards in 2020.

Artist collective bttm methodology was formed by val smith and Richard Orjis in 2018. bttm methodology emerged as an activating agent across a series of art installations, zine workshops, performances, queer history walks and discussion groups. Drawing on queer theory and socio-ecological art practices, bttm methodology is a guide to art-making that valorises ‘lowly’ or marginalised positions. The collective encompasses a range of queer socio-political relations, past and present, including a receptive position in intimate relations, ethical alliances between the human and nonhuman, and a grounding in the cultural context of Aotearoa.

Gina Cole is of Fijian, Scottish and Welsh descent. She won the Best First Book Award at the 2017 Ockham NZ Book Awards for her story collection Black Ice Matter. She is an Honorary Fellow in Writing at the University of Iowa and she holds a PhD in creative writing from Massey University. Her forthcoming SFF novel titled Na Viro is a work of Pasifikafuturism.

Jack Remiel Cottrell (he/him, Ngāti Rangi) was born in Wellington, and moved around a lot before settling in Auckland. He specialises in writing stories which reflect the weirdness of the times we live in. Jack’s debut collection of flash fiction, Ten Acceptable Acts of Arson, and other very short stories was published in August 2021 by Canterbury University Press. When not writing, Jack referees rugby and forgets to update his website.

Vanessa Mei Crofskey is an artist and writer based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington. Her writing is often linked to swimming, trauma, intimacy and cyclical memories. Some places they have been published include The Spinoff, The Dominion Post, SCUM Mag and Te Papa. Vanessa is co-author of AUP New Poets 6 and the current Director of Enjoy Contemporary Art Space. Prior to this they worked at Basement Theatre and at The Pantograph Punch.

Joanne Drayton is an award winning, New York Times-bestselling author who has published six books and numerous chapters and articles. She has curated exhibitions and publishes in art history, theory and biography. In 2007, she was awarded a National Library Fellowship, and in 2017 she received the prestigious Logan Fellowship at the Carey Institute in upstate New York. In 2019, her book Hudson & Halls: The Food of Love was the winner of the coveted Royal Society Te Aparangi Award for General Non-fiction at the NZ Book Awards.

Michael Giacon is a poet and songwriter from Tamaki Makaurau. He was the summer 2020-21 NZPS featured poet, and has most recently appeared in their 2021 anthology, and Fast Fibres 8, Fresh Ink 3, the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook, Out There: an anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa, and the Divine Muses/Auckland Libraries Phantom National Poetry Day 2021 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgSJLQYUVxM.

Dan Goodwin (they/them) is a Scottish-Pākeha performance poet, actor and writer. In 2016, they completed their Masters of Text and Performance at RADA and Birkbeck in the UK before returning to Aotearoa. Their performance poetry has been published by RE:, Attitude, RNZ and TVNZ, and they have performed nationally and internationally across various spaces, including Auckland Pride, Int. Comedy Fest, London’s Bloomsbury festival, and 2021’s ‘Welcome to Nowhere’.

Tommy Hamilton (they/he) is a Pākehā, genderqueer masc, endosex, able-bodied and neuro-typical person. Tommy is a narrative therapist working across rainbow and mainstream services and SOGIESC community development and sustainability in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Jeremy Hansen is a writer and journalist who now works on arts, culture and community projects in Auckland’s Britomart precinct. He is a former board member of samesame but different and a regular host of events and panels for the festival. As well as LGBTQI+ issues, he is interested in architecture and has written two books on New Zealand homes: Villa (2009) and Modern: New Zealand Homes from 1938-1977 (2014).

Rebecca Hawkes grew up on a sheep and beef farm near Methven and now lives in Wellington. Her ‘lush and unrestrained’ poetry chapbook ‘Softcore Coldsores’ was published in AUP New Poets 5, and her debut collection Meat Lovers will be unleashed by Auckland University Press in 2022. She is a founding member of performance popstar-poets’ posse Show Ponies, and co-edits the poetry journal Sweet Mammalian and an anthology of poetry on climate change, No Other Place To Stand (forthcoming from AUP).

Douglas Lloyd Jenkins is a well-known art, architecture and design writer. He won the Montana Medal for Non-Fiction (2005) and in 2008 was made Member Order of New Zealand Merit (MNZM). He has been a television presenter, (Big Art Trip, NZ At Home) and magazine columnist. In 2018, seeking to engage new audiences, he began to focus on writing fiction.

Shaneel Lal is the founder of the Conversion Therapy Action Group, a group working to end conversion therapy in Aotearoa New Zealand. Shaneel is an executive board member of Rainbow Youth and Auckland Pride Festival and a trustee of Adhikaar Aotearoa. Shaneel is a law and psychology student at the University of Auckland.

Rose Lu is a writer based in Wellington. She gained her Masters of Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters in 2018 and was awarded the Modern Letters Prize for Creative Nonfiction. Her first essay collection, All Who Live on Islands, was published to critical acclaim in 2019. Her undergraduate degree was in Mechatronics Engineering and she has worked as a software developer since 2012.

Eli Matthewson is a writer and comedian based in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland. His stand-up show Daddy Short-Legs was the winner of the 2021 Fred Award at the NZ International Comedy Festival. He is the head writer of the panel show Have You Been Paying Attention, and has written for Jono and Ben, Funny Girls and was a co-creator of the sitcom Golden Boy. He is a founding member of the improv company Snort.

R.W.R. McDonald (Rob) is an award-winning author, a Kiwi living in Melbourne with his two daughters and one HarryCat. His debut novel, The Nancys, won Best First Novel in the 2020 Ngaio Marsh Awards, was a finalist in the Best Novel category, and was shortlisted for Best First Novel in the 2020 Ned Kelly Awards. Nancy Business, his second novel, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2021.

Courtney Sina Meredith has a vast body of work that spans – even bends – genres, from award-winning poetry to essays and children’s books. Her bold, self-assured style of writing has attracted attention across Aotearoa and on the international stage. Courtney’s work delves into issues such as racism, sexism and poverty and draws on her Samoan roots.

Murphy (they/them) is a journalist who writes about queer and gender diverse communities at RNZ. Based in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland, they have worked to highlight stories from these communities in a range of media spaces for over seven years. In 2020, working alongside Susan Strongman, they released the RNZ project HERE WE ARE, exploring the impact discrimination has had on the wellbeing of trans and non-binary people in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Tendai Mutambu (he/they) is a writer and curator with an interest in contemporary artists’ film and video. He is Acting Curator at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery and until recently he was Commissioning Editor for ArtNow Essays.

Takunda Muzondiwa, originally from Zimbabwe, demonstrates the power of the spoken word, and even more so through her lived experience. Following her participation in the annual national Race Unity Speech Competition, Takunda’s spoken word poetry continues to make waves nationally and globally. She is currently a second year university student pursuing a Bachelor of Laws and Sociology.

Sam Orchard is a queer and trans comic artist. He creates media and resources that celebrate difference and complexity. His comics and resources about sexuality, sex and gender have been used internationally by SOGI advocates. Sam is currently working on his first full- length graphic novel and is working at the Alexander Turnbull Library as the Assistant Curator for Cartoons and Comics.

essa may ranapiri: (they/them/ia) ko tainui te waka / ko tararua te maunga / ko waikawa rāua ko manakau ngā awa / ko ngāti raukawa te iwi / ko ngāti wehi wehi te hapū / ko wehi wehi te marae / he kaituhi ia e noho ana i te whenua o te ngāti wairere / nā ia i tuhi te pukapuka toikupu ransack (VUP) / they will write until they’re dead.

Randa (real name Mainard Larkin) is a rapper. After high school, they began writing songs about home-cooked dishes, and navigating life as a non-binary trans person. They have been winning over hearts ever since the release of their first project, ‘Rangers EP’. Opening for artists such as Grimes and Le1f, Randa’s live set has proven to be an exciting and captivating extension of a fascinating online music persona.

Rebecca K Reilly (Ngāti Hine, Ngātiwai) is a writer from Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland. Her first novel Greta & Valdin was published in 2021 by VUP. In 2019 she won the Adam Foundation Prize in Creative Writing. Her writing has been described as ‘crackingly good’ in The Listener, ‘not on trend but welcome’ in North & South, and ‘pointless’ on Goodreads.

Rhion (he/they) works as a Kaimahi for CAYAD (Community Action on Youth and Drugs) and is passionate about systems change, design thinking and a health-based approach to drug and alcohol reform. He likes to read (everything), dance, make music, garden, hike, and travel to distant and not so distant places. Rhi is a qualified librarian, a westie and a proud non-binary, transmasculine person.

Ruby Solly (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha) is a Takatāpui writer, taonga pūoro practitioner, music therapist and musician living in Pōneke/Wellington. In 2020 she released her debut album ‘Pōneke’, which explores how we converse with the environment and its histories, with a focus on tribal migrations. Ruby’s first book Tōku Pāpā was released by VUP in 2021, the same year Ruby was curator Māori for Auckland Writers Festival.

Samuel Te Kani is a freelance writer based in Auckland. Having dabbled in sex journalism, he also writes critically on art and cinema, and has most recently become a peddler of horny fiction that draws on various science-fiction and fantasy traditions in attempts to elevate both erotica and uses of genre. Hailing from Northland originally, he only misses it in the summer when poor inner-city excuses for beaches are marbled with effluent and/or used condoms (the latter he can take or leave). In his spare time he reads tarot for an expanding circle of intimates in the hopes of becoming Auckland’s own Jodorowsky-esque puppet-master.

Chris Tse (he/him) is the author of How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes and HE’S SO MASC, and co-editor (with Emma Barnes) of Out Here: An anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa. His third poetry collection, Super Model Minority, will be published in early 2022.