Spanish Given Words now open to NZ poets for Poetry Day

A Poetry Competition with a Twist for National Poetry Day

Do you write poetry and like a challenge? Nelson-born artist and poet Charles Olsen runs the online Spanish poetry project called ‘Palabras Prestadas’ or ‘Given Words’ and is inviting poets in New Zealand to participate in a special one-off English version of the project.

Each poet can submit one poem but there is a twist: the poem has to include five words which have been chosen especially for the occasion by the Australian poet Les Murray. These come from his poem ‘High Speed Trap Space’ and they are: walled, crane-swing, jaw, blubber and blurts. The words can be in any order and verbs can change tense.

This is one of a number of poetry competitions in which you can participate in the run up to the 26th of August, Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2016 – New Zealand’s 19th annual celebration of poetry and poets. This year almost 100 events will unleash the power of poetry across the country.

The ‘Given Words’ competition is free to enter and is open to all New Zealand citizens. A selection of the poems will be published online and the best poem will be translated into Spanish and receive a copy of the collection of poetry Antípodas by Charles Olsen (published in Spain by Huerga y Fierro, 2016, bilingual edition). The ‘Given Words’ project has been running since 2011 and a number of New Zealand poets have donated words to the Spanish editions including New Zealand’s current poet laureate C. K. Stead.

Entry Details: Free entry. Open to all NZ citizens. Maximum length 200 words. Only one poem per person. The poem must include the five words above. Submit your poem by email including your full name and town of residence to

Submissions are now open and close at midnight on National Poetry Day, 26th of August.

Further Info or here

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day details


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