FOR THE POET IN ALL OF US
From poetical apothecaries to a hip hop verse off, this year’s Festival is rich with poets from New Zealand and around the world. Poetry Idol, in which the audience has the final say on who wins, is always a sell-out event. This year’s Honoured New Zealand Writer, Vincent O’Sullivan, is known for his lyrical, erudite poetry which has won him multiple national awards. And the three finalists of the Sarah Broom Poetry Prize will be announced very soon!
There are limited places left in James Sheard’s Unlocking the Poetry Door and Chris Price’s Creative Collisions poetry workshops. Do hurry if you want to learn from two of the best bards around.
How to Read the World for free…
Did you know that more than 30% of the Festival programme are free, un-ticketed events! Admission is on a first-in, first-served basis – you can browse the full selection here.
Check out the full programme now!
Mid-life crisis? Feeling blue? Don’t despair, Deborah Alma, the Emergency Poet, will be giving ten-minute consultations from a vintage ambulance parked in Aotea Square, Takapuna Library and Otahuhu Library, and prescribing a poem to fix any number of life’s ailments. Alma is expertly assisted by acclaimed poet and partner, James Sheard AKA Nurse Verse.
One poet for every year that Poetry Idol has graced the Festival stage takes to the mic in a bid to become Festival Champion and carry off the $500 prize in the finale of this iconic event MC’ed by Penny Ashton. This year’s judges include Jan Maree, Carrie Rudzinski and Zane Scarborough, with the audience having the final vote.
Send us an email now to signal your interest in entering the fray! Auditions held late April.
The US-based Irishman Paul Muldoon has won most poetry gongs going, including the Pulitzer Prize. He’s been described as “the most significant English-language poet born since WWII” by The Times Literary Supplement. The author of more than thirty collections, he has also written children’s books, libretti and songs. He held the post of Oxford Professor of Poetry from 1999 to 2004, has taught at Princeton University since 1987 and has been poetry editor of The New Yorker since 2007. We are thrilled and honoured to host him.
Named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Novelists of the Year in 2015, Omar Musa is an award-winning Malaysian-Australian author, poet and rapper. He has won the Australian Poetry Slam (2008) and the Indian Ocean Poetry Slam (2009). Omar has released three hip hop albums and two poetry books. His critically acclaimed debut novel Here Come the Dogs was long listed for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Musa will address issues of migration, racism, violence, masculinity and loneliness in his trademark provocative style.
Prize-winning Australian slam-poetry champion Maxine Beneba Clarke doesn’t mince her words, as the title of her forthcoming memoir – The Hate Race – attests. Her poetry collections include the freshly minted Carrying the World (2016), Gil Scott Heron is on Parole (2009) and Nothing Here Needs Fixing (2013), with the latter’s titular poem winning the 2013 Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize. Of Afro-Caribbean descent, she talks about life and cultural amalgamations with internationally lauded local poet Tusiata Avia.
Leading Pacific poet, performer and children’s author Tusiata Avia has been travelling the world performing her one woman poetry show Wild Dogs Under My Skirt. She launches her highly-anticipated poetry collection Fale Aitu | Spirit House in a free, public event during Festival week, also appearing in conversation with Maxine Beneba Clarke at Spirit House, Foreign Soil, and in the New Zealand Listener Gala Night – True Stories Told Live: Altered States.
Discover more poetry at #AWF16