Bravo! Poetry at the Auckland Writers Festival is an eclectic mix


You will also get a chance to hear  Ashleigh Young with her fabulous essays!

AWF programme here.


Lots of these events are free entry so get there early if you want a seat. Such an innovative inclusion of poets and clear demonstration that NZ poetry is in very good shape. So many excellent books out in the past year  and only so much room to showcase them here. That surely is testimony to the dedication of local publishers and local poets. Sure there are voices I am sad not to be hearing – but this is a poetry feast! Congratulations Anne O’Brien and team.


Tuesday 16th May, 7 until 8.30pm Go see who wind the poetry section of the Ockham NZ Book Awards

Friday 19th, 2.30pm. Catch Courtney Sina Meredith in Pacific Tales.

Friday 19th, 4pm. Poets Hera Lindsay Bird and Anne Kennedy joined three other writers at Auckland War Memorial Museum to seek inspiration for a piece of writing. Hear what they came up with.

Friday 19th, 5pm. Hear the book-award winners.

Hear Carol Ann Duffy with John Sampson on 19th at 6pm or do the World’s Wife on Saturday 20th 7pm until 9.30pm.


Friday 19th 6.30 until 8pm. Walk on High looks like a poetry smorgasbord:

Walk on High is an intimate meandering journey, featuring a sampler of Festival talent on a word trail along High Street in the CBD. From 6.30pm to 8pm choose from four fifteen-minute events, repeated four times across the ninety minutes, individually crafted and each as delectable as the next. Formats take in games, Insta-essays, music, spoken word and theatre. Over 20 writers and performers take part, including: Jess Holly Bates, Anthony Byrt, Teju Cole, Glenn Colquhoun, Jonothan Cullinane, Mei-Lin Hansen, Ali Ikram, Simone Kaho, Sarah Laing, Last Tapes Theatre Company, Michelle Leggott, Lana Lopesi, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Doug Poole, Randa, Rosabel Tan, Apirana Taylor, Tourettes, Steven Toussaint, Ian Wedde, Rewa Worley and Sonja Yelich. A full schedule and event descriptions will be posted to our website early April so check it out and start planning your Walk on High:



Check out the Old Guard New Guard with Bill Manhire and Hera Lindsay Bird 4.30 Saturday 2oth.


There is an electric group on offer at the Spoken Word Showcase Saturday 21st 7.30 until 9.30pm:

Five of the brightest spoken word artists take to the stage in an unprecedented showcase of talent from Tamaki Makaurau, including Marina Alefosio (Rising Voices, South Auckland Poets Collective), Mohamed Hassan (New Zealand Poetry Slam and Revival Sessions), Tim Heath (Poetry Idol finalist), Jennifer Rockwell (Word the Front Line) and Rewa Worley (Rising Voices). Former Poetry Idol winner and judge Zane Scarborough hosts an evening of signature pieces, improv, and a little crowd participation with international guests Paul Beatty (The Sellout), Ivan Coyote (Tomboy Survival Guide) and Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey) punctuating the evening with performances. A special night not to be missed.


You can hear Apirana Taylor on Sunday 21st at noon.

Bill Manhire joins in Questions of Time (with the fabulous Frances Hardinge). Sunday 21st 10.30.


Ian Wedde is in Family Dynamics with his new Selected Poems. Sunday 21st at noon.

Simone Kaho and Rupui Kaur are in Those Were the Days. Sunday 21st at 3pm.


Check out the winner of the Sarah Broome Poetry Award on Sunday 21st at 4.30pm.


Fiona Kidman is the 2017 Honoured New Zealand  Writer. Sunday 21st 6pm until 7pm.


Ian Wedde is launching his Selected Poems  on Friday 19th 3.30pm until 5pm.

Plus Ian Wedde is doing this intriguing workshop you can be part of:

The poetic Bob Dylan won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature, and rap, poetry slams, and online publications have expanded the definitions of and audiences for poetry. In some countries – in Palestine, for example, with Mahmoud Darwish – the form has long been a vital aspect of public discourse. Bring your work to this session with Ian Wedde, for a practical investigation of the porous borders of poetry.

Limited to a maximum of 40 participants.


Finally you can see Pop Poetry in the Square each evening:

Festival week sees a corner of Aotea Square come alive each night with text projections. Every evening a
combination of curated and live writing will emanate from the mysterious Pop Poetry hut, inspired by the theme ‘Love Letters’.

A sparkling collection of intrepid writers join the fun, with one a night writing live but anonymously and only revealing themselves as they sign off… expect poems, letters, lyrics and other treats.
Pop is an annual series of public art projects made for and by Aucklanders, supported by Auckland Council and the Waitemata- Local Board. Its mission is to create unexpected experiences in Auckland’s neighbourhoods; creating surprise, making fun and forming communities. Pop Poetry is in its second year of activating urban sites around the city though large-format, typographic projections by night. Pop Poetry is designed by Alt Group.

Pop Poetry will take place each evening from 6:00pm – 9:00pm, from Tuesday 16 May until Sunday May 21.







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