Catton the star attraction at Dunedin writers' festival

Eleanor Catton.
Eleanor Catton.
The Luminaries author Eleanor Catton will discuss her acclaimed work as part of the inaugural Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival in May.

The 2013 Man Booker Prize winner will be part of an official festival opening event at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery on May 9 and will speak about her career the following night at the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum.

Catton, of Auckland, won the 2013 Man Booker Prize for The Luminaries - her second book.

Set in the goldfields of the South Island in 1866, it references Dunedin and Hokitika.

Festival committee chairwoman Alexandra Bligh said it was a coup for the city to have such an impressive group of national and international authors take part in the four-day event.

They include Alexander McCall Smith, Janice Galloway and Nigel Leask, from the United Kingdom, New Zealand poet laureate Vincent O'Sullivan, 2009-11 poet laureate Cilla McQueen, and 2014 Robert Burns Fellow Majella Cullinane.

Kate De Goldi and Elizabeth Knox are also among the festival line-up, as are columnists Rosemary McLeod and Deborah Coddington, Labour Party MP Grant Robertson and South Island authors Brian Turner, Vanda Symon, Emma Neale, Rogelio Guedea, David Eggleton and Liam McIlvanney.

Poet Tusiata Avia will perform poems from her two collections Wild Dogs Under My Skirt and Bloodclot, alongside new work.

Avia was the 2013 Janet Frame Literary Trust Award recipient.

The festival aims to build on the success of former writers event Wordstruck!, held in Dunedin for almost 15 years, and includes films and a children's story train.

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