July 4, 2021


Word has been a home for me for more than half a decade, and it’s a privilege to be invited to add a fabulous lounge to my literary rooms.

In Speed Date A Speculative Fiction Author, I wanted to recreate the relaxed kaffeklatsch experience I enjoy at spec-fic conventions, and let audiences get to know the depth of Aotearoa’s spec-fic scene. Meeting over a cuppa and bikkie is a great way to start a conversation.

And in The Stardust Cabaret at Little Andromeda, I’m combining my love of sci-fi, space, and fabulosity with eclectic literary and performance perspectives. With the performers roaming free on theme, I hope you find something fun, familiar, and new that infuses your life with a bit of glittery star-stuff.

AJ Fitzwater is Arts Four Creative in Residence at The Arts Centre, in association with Creative New Zealand and The Stout Trust, proudly managed by Perpetual Guardian.



Mātō lava le soifua mana ma le lagi e mamā. I’m a spoken word poet and a facilitator of poetry spaces, and I’m learning the complex language of Samoan oratory (having not grown up in Samoa, but having a hereditary title from my mother’s side). After the earthquakes, creating music and poetry spaces was what I did, for Christchurch people to bring whatever they had to the table, to perform, tell stories, tell their truths – to create hope. So it’s an honour to do this here at WORD with Confluence, which brings together indigenous voices and songs to give them mana, and to create from the ‘and space’ of Māori and Pasifika peoples, as tangata moana, not either/or. I hope you’ll come!

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