Biggest ever National Poetry Day supported by award-winning Kiwi poets


Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day #NZPoetryDay announces its largest ever celebration of poetry today, with more than 135 events programmed to take place around New Zealand. 

Held annually on the fourth Friday in August, National Poetry Day sees award-winning poets join poetry enthusiasts from all over the country in a marathon programme of poetry readings, performances, workshops and competitions. 

On August 24, poetry will be making news – and noise – in dozens of cities, towns and rural areas across New Zealand. Expect to encounter poetry in expected and unusual places – on public transport, street posters and footpaths; in cafés, bars, bookshops, and libraries; and at schools, university campuses, retirement villages, marae, theatres and community centres.


The day will include readings with 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards poetry category finalists Briar Wood and Sue Wootton in Auckland and a workshop with winner Elizabeth Smither in Christchurch. All four 2018 Ockham poets, including Tony Beyer, feature in Phantom Billstickers’ countrywide super-size Poetry on Posters campaign and will also be filmed for a social media campaign celebrating poetry.

 New Zealand Books Awards past poetry winners Jenny Bornholdt, Kevin Ireland, Anne Kennedy, Bill Manhire, Greg O’Brien and Brian Turner will also take part in events around New Zealand. Alongside established poets, emerging voices and student poets will take part in open mic sessions and spoken-word performances. There will be a host of poetry contests for writers of all ages and many of the programmed events will be open to the public and free admission.


Among the scores of events taking place from the far north to the deep south of Aotearoa are: Rodney District’s live human art/poetry installations and poems written on the sand, to be captured by drone and made into a movie; Auckland’s ‘love letters to Auckland’ event – a multimedia performance by local poets, rappers, storytellers and dancers; Taranaki’s ‘Pop Up Poetry’ exhibition of poems on sticky notes; Wellington’s Where the Wild Words Are’, in the company of local poets who will bewitch, berate, busk and bewilder; Nelson’s ‘Poetry Fridge Door and Poetry Generator’; Christchurch’s ‘Speed Date an Editor’; Dunedin’s gala poetry evening; and Central Otago’s evening of poetry on the theme of rivers with Brian Turner, Michael Harlow, Jenny Bornholdt, Gregory O’Brien and Liz Breslin. There will even be an international poetry event at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!

If you can’t get along to an event, why not enter The 24-Hour Poem Competition?  Your challenge is to write a poem of no more than 30 lines, containing ten supplied words. The catch is: you only have the 24 hours of Poetry Day itself to write and submit your poem.


For full details about all the events taking place on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, including places, venues, times, tickets and more, go here 

Established in 1997, National Poetry Day is a popular fixture on the nation’s cultural calendar and one that celebrates discovery, diversity and community. For the third year in a row, Phantom Billstickers support National Poetry Day through their naming rights sponsorship. In the lead up to August 24, they will bring poetry to New Zealand communities with a mighty street poster campaign.





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