Christchurch Writers' Festival, 5-7 September

LSD is to appear with Joe Bennett and Ben Hills at the Christchurch Writers’ Festival as part of a session on travel writing called “Guilt-free Travel”. The session will be at 1.30pm on Saturday 6 September in the Limes Room of the Town Hall.

Darwin Lecture available on RNZ

LSD’s lecture on Darwin as part of the RSNZ’s Darwin Lecture Series, which is largely derived from the research and writing of his book Looking for Darwin, is available for download from the Radio New Zealand website.

The Darwin Lectures – RSNZ

LSD will give the first in a series of six lectures organized by the Royal Society of New Zealand to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s idea of evolution by natural selection. The lecture will take place in Napier on 19 August 2008 and is entitled, “Darwin and the Evolution of an Idea.” The lecture is being recorded live for Radio New Zealand.

Auckland Writers and Readers Festival, Auckland, 15-18 May 2008

LSD will be on stage twice at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival. He is appearing initially on Saturday 17 May at 2.30 pm in the Aotea Centre as part of a session entitled, Science, but not as we know it. Chaired by Kim Hill, the other writers in the session are Paul Callaghan and Bernard Beckett. On Sunday 18 May at he is part of a session that goes by the intriguing name: Carbon Footprint on the Road to Damascus. In this, he shares the spotlight with travel writers Graeme Lay and Thomas Kohnstamm.

Fantastic Antarctica

LSD is appearing in a panel discussion about the arts and science in Antarctica. Chaired by radio personality Kim Hill, the other panelists include writer Bill Manhire, artist Dick Frizzell and scientist Vonda Cummings. The event is part of the Victoria University Antarctic Seminars held in conjunction with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Society of New Zealand. It is being held in the Ilott Theatre at the Town Hall, Wellington at 7.30pm Monday 14 April. LSD will be giving a penguin's-eye view of Antarctica, including readings from his book Penguin: a season in the life of the Adélie penguin.

Travel Book of the Year Award

LFD cover sized
Looking for Darwin was last night named the Runner Up in the Whitcoulls Travcom Travel Book of the Year Award – New Zealand's premier award for travel books. While the modest prize was welcome, LSD said he was most pleased that Looking for Darwin was getting recognition for what it really was in essence: a piece of travel writing.

New Zealand International Arts Festival, Wellington, 12 March 2008

LSD is an invited speaker for the Writers and Readers week of Wellington's International Festival of the Arts. He is to be part of a threesome on writing about science. The other participants are Bernard Beckett and Hamish Campbell. The session is to be called "The Big Questions" and it will be chaired by radio host extraordinaire, Kim Hill: Embassy Theatre, Wellington, 3.45 pm 12 March.

Ants of New Zealand launched

Last night LSD was on the other side of the microphone as he launched Warwick Don's book, Ants of New Zealand, at a function held in the atrium of the Otago Museum. Surprinzingly, this is the first book ever published on New Zealand's representatives of this important animal group. LSD chided Warwick, a rugby fanatic, for seemingly making his collections at places around New Zealand that coincided with the locations of rugby grounds. He went on to describe the book as representing a lifetime's work and, with a nod to Grahame Sydney, Christian Barnard and Rudyard Kipling, LSD praised Warwick Don for his book – which he said could be regarded as a gift to the nation, a true "stepping stone".

Filmmaking Book launched

The Business of Documentary Filmmaking by Claudia Babirat and LSD (Longacre Press, 2008) was launched in Dunedin last night before a group of about 400 well-wishers. The book was launched by Graeme Wilson (left), Chairman of the NZ Screen Council.

Graeme established the Natural History Unit of TVNZ in Dunedin in 1977 with Robert Brown (pictured in the blue shirt) and Neil Harraway (who was also at the launch). In many ways this book represents the great-great-grandchild of something he started over three decades ago.

He said he hoped the book would be adopted as a text by all filmmaking courses in New Zealand.

Talk Talk - 08

Lloyd Spencer Davis is a guest on Talk Talk, the chat show on the TVNZ's new digital channel (Channel 6) hosted by book aficionado, Finlay MacDonald. Filming took place on 8 February at the TVNZ studios in Auckland and the show goes to air 4 March. It will be available for digital downloading via the web after that.

He shares the billing for the show with singer and activist Moana Maniapoto. She gave a sublime live performance in the studio just before LSD was interviewed by Finlay MacDonald. The series is being produced by Third Party Productions under the watchful gaze of longtime producer Colin Hogg, who had previously made a short documentary on LSD for The Book Show.

Taping of the next episode of Talk Talk occurred at the Hobson Street studios of TVNZ immediately after LSD's interview was "in the can," and LSD was pleased to run into one of its guests, the poet Glenn Colquhoun: Glenn had been one of the judges who'd presented LSD with the 2002 NZ Children's Book of the Year Award.