Poetry Shelf noticeboard: Michael Botur launches poetry album

Northland writer launches poetry album

Northland writer Michael Botur is launching his first recorded poetry album in his hometown of Whangārei on March 31. 

Loudmouth collects 15 years of what Botur calls ‘Page and pub poetry’ – poems tested on audiences in Dunedin, Christchurch, Auckland, Whangārei and Tauranga across a decade and a half.

Loudmouth becomes one of the only spoken word NZ poetry albums on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music and Bandcamp. 

Recorded with Steve Cox from Whangārei rap group OBC, Loudmouth is launched with a one-hour poetry show at Whangārei Central Library, 6pm March 31.  

The album is 35 tracks grouped into five sections – the political, the personal, historical, slamsational and criminal.

Many of the poems have been published in NZ literary journals and websites, and readings from the book of Loudmouth were performed up and down the country in 2020.  

“I published Loudmouth because I don’t agree that poets should be content simply publishing a few lines twice a year in some literary journal no one will ever read,” Botur said. “Behind the book, poetry was my first literary passion, before I got into fiction. So it’s about going back in time and fulfilling a promise to my young Otago student self.”

The 37 year old is author of ten books, has won numerous prizes and awards for fiction and poetry and performs words whenever possible, including at this year’s Auckland Improv Festival and Earth Beat Festival. Botur is included in the 2021 Auckland Writer’s Festival and will perform Loudmouth at Auckland’s Thirsty Dog as a non-festival sideshow on May 14. 

“I don’t want to die without giving my best poetry an opportunity to impress audiences. Every poet should put out an album, really. It was a little hard to record and release, but far from impossible.’

“I’m passionate about oratory performance,” Botur added. “All my artist friends do amazing things on a stage with a microphone and a voice – comedians, actors, musicians, improv. I have friends that make podcasts, albums and host radio shows. We need to make literature as exciting as that. Getting these poems on the airwaves has been long overdue.” 

Botur extended a challenge to other NZ poets to launch their poetry for digital download.

“We have to give voice to poetry and not confine it to the page. We have to make it exciting, entertaining and accessible. Poets: get out there and publish your stuff on Distrokid like I did.”

Album at Spotify

Album launch in Whangārei

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