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It was the wrenching poetry of Fiona Farrell that did it, she said.
After afternoon sessions with David Eggleton, Jessica Thompson Carr and Farrell in Politics of Poetry, and Rose Carlyle speaking about her rise to literary fame with her debut novel, The Girl in the Mirror, author Elizabeth Knox wrapped up the festival speaking about "placing fantasy inside the real world" at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, yesterday evening.
Ms Molloy said this year’s festival had been "really lovely".
"Our guests have been amazing. They’ve spoken really beautifully on an incredible range of subjects," she said.
"The audiences have been really buzzy as well, and the rooms have been really heated up because the energy has been so high."
There had been a mix of writers at the festival and "a real mix of experience" as well, she said.
This year’s festival was spread over five venues.
With the borders closed, all 55 guests to this year’s 35-event festival are based in New Zealand.
The programme included local writers Vincent O’Sullivan and Liz Breslin and national identities Witi Ihimaera and Nalini Singh.