Tag Archives: Phantom Billstiockers national Poetry day

Poetry Shelf noticeboard: Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day events unveiled

I have just mapped in my mind all the places I would like to be on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day – I always love what Nelson comes up with, Featherston, Napier, Central Otago … and of course all the big cities. But this year I will be in Wellington hosting a lunchtime event at Unity Books (getting to hear some women read I have never heard before yeah!), then hearing some AUP New Poets hosted by Anna Jackson at Book Hound  (also hearing poets I have mostly never heard read before) and finally going to Show Ponies (R18) (wow! what a line up!) at Meow.

I love the way bookshops, cafes, bars, universities, marae, schools and libraries are increasingly inventive every year in designing events and competitions – and poets appear all over the country.  You could for example have brunch with Chris Tse in Hamilton!

Check out your route by clicking on the link and see below for mine!


Screen Shot 2019-07-06 at 9.32.27 PM.png


Climate change and the plight of refugees are the focus of some of the 150+ events in this year’s Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, taking place on Friday August 23.

Our annual celebration of writing and reading poetry embraces both the personal and political in a dynamic programme of events and competitions nationwide – from parks,
beaches, pavements and public transport to cafés, bars, bookshops, schools, university campuses, libraries, RSAs, community centres, marae and more.

The record number of events include:

Auckland’s ‘I Feel at Home, Away from Home – Blackout Poetry Workshop’ – that gives voice to our migrants and refugees; and the Theoradical Hobohemians hosting
‘An Interview with Charles Bukowski’.
Wellington’s ‘Show Ponies: A National Poetry Day Extravaganza’ – a late-night gig, featuring award-winner Chris Tse and other poets posing as popstars for the evening.

Wairarapa’s ‘Climate Positive’ – poetry, song and stories of positive action against the climate crisis with performance poets Extinction Rebellion.
Christchurch’s ‘Poets in Our Tūranga’ – a six-hour poetry marathon at the new Tūranga Central Library, featuring more than 40 local poets and writers, and 2019 Ockham
New Zealand Book Awards poetry category finalist Erik Kennedy.
Dunedin’s ‘Changing Minds: Memories Lost and Found’ – a poetry competition for adults inspired by their experience of dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day includes appearances by the winner of the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry in the 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, Helen Heath, who will deliver a workshop at Hagley Writers’ Institute in Christchurch on Saturday, August 24.

Poetry category finalist, Therese Lloyd, will take part in a celebration of Paula Green’s magnum opus, Wild Honey: Reading New Zealand Women’s Poetry at Unity Books in Wellington.

In the lead up to August 23, Phantom Billstickers will bring poetry to our communities with an epic street poster campaign. All four 2019 Ockham poetry category finalists, including Tayi Tibble, will feature in Phantom Billstickers’ national super-size Poetry on Posters campaign.

Nicola Legat, Chair, The New Zealand Book Awards Trust, says ‘One of the themes of this year’s events is a focus on social issues. Events focused on climate change and the issues facing refugees are among them, and this shows how relevant and useful poetry is as a way of confronting and addressing some of our wicked problems.’

Held annually on the fourth Friday in August, #NZPoetryDay sees poetry royalty join forces with poetry fans from all over Aotearoa in an action-packed programme of slams and rap, open mic and spoken word performances, pop-up events, book launches and readings. There are 24 poetry contests to enter. Many of the programmed events will be open to the public and free to enjoy.

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 past four years, Phantom Billstickers has supported National Poetry Day through its naming rights sponsorship.

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



Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 8.00.41 AM.png

Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 8.00.53 AM.png

Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 8.00.20 AM.png



Phantom Billstickers pay tribute to the nation’s poets as they announce National Poetry Day 2018

 Screen Shot 2018-04-16 at 2.19.38 PM.png


New Zealand is a nation of poets and poetry lovers. Last year Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day broke all records, with 120 events taking place in cities and towns all over the country.

This year, Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day (#NZPoetryDay) will be held on Friday 24 August 2018 and is set to be even bigger. Expect chances to read poetry on public transport, street posters and footpaths; to hear it in special events in cafes, bars, bookshops, libraries, schools, universities, theatres, clubs and community centres; and to enter your own work in to poetry competitions for all ages.

 Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2018 will feature a range of events and activities, from readings headlined by Poet Laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh to Slam Poetry contests to events that celebrate local writers and places. David Merritt’s ‘Poetry in a Box’ will see poetry bricks in 25 different locations around the country – in schools, cafés, libraries, galleries – culminating in a co-ordinated “simultaneous reading” on the day.


The cut-off date for organisers to register events and apply for seed funding is Wednesday 23 May 2018 at 5:00pm. Events can be registered online via this link. For enquiries about registering an event or applying for seed funding, please contact National Administrator Harley Hern on email poetryday@nzbookawards.org.nz.  For full information go here

Held on the fourth Friday in August, National Poetry Day is a popular fixture on the nation’s cultural calendar. For the third year Phantom Billstickers are supporting this through a naming rights sponsorship, and plan to proudly ‘splash poetry across New Zealand’ in the weeks leading up to National Poetry Day with a massive street poster campaign.

Phantom Billstickers NPD 2018 Poster.jpeg


Paula Morris, National Poetry Day spokesperson for the New Zealand Book Awards Trust said, “Last year’s twentieth-anniversary celebrations brought out more great poets, charismatic performers and avid readers than ever before. Poetry has the power to speak to and for us, from the personal to the political – to mark our big occasions, comment on our society, and challenge the way we see the world. National Poetry Day is a chance to encounter poetry in unexpected places, and to engage with the many things it’s able to do and say.”

The poetry winner of the prestigious Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, announced on Tuesday 15 May 2018, will be available to take part in selected events on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, as will the other poetry finalists. The shortlisted writers for the Poetry prize are: Tony Beyer (New Plymouth), Elizabeth Smither (Taranaki), Briar Wood (Northland), and Sue Wootton (Dunedin).


Nicola Legat, New Zealand Book Awards Trust Chair, said: “In the year that we celebrate 50 years since New Zealand’s prestigious book awards were first established, it’s rewarding and affirming to reflect on how many great books of poetry have been celebrated in the awards’ winner lists. These books of poetry were noticed, brought richness to readers’ lives and are eminently worth rereading. They have held their ground and their authors constitute a poetry hall of fame: Allen Curnow, Bill Manhire, Fleur Adcock, Elizabeth Smither, Brian Turner, Vincent O’Sullivan, Michelle Leggott, Hone Tuwhare, Kate Camp, Ian Wedde, Jenny Bornholdt, Glenn Colquhoun and so many more. Here’s to New Zealand poetry!”

My Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day poetry wish list …


  1.  We get to hear a poem on RNZ National before the 2pm news every Friday (or noon) – like a poem bird call.
  2.  We still get to read a Friday poem in a newspaper or monthly poem in a magazine.
  3.  Making up poems with your children goes viral.
  4. We get to read poems on buses and trains like you get in London.
  5. Someone picks a page and recycles the words into a poem to send to someone else like a bunch of irises (yep reading-writing Robin Hyde this week).
  6. Hundreds of poetry books get bought on Poetry Day so publishers big and small keep publishing this little species.
  7. I read Sarah Jane Barnett’s fabulous poetry picks and follow her drinks match.
  8. New Zealand poems get read in schools.
  9. Children read poems in retirement villages.
  10. I get to read all the new poetry books in my stack and share this week.
  11. Poetry workshops are active with refugees, women’s refuges, prisons, schools, libraries, bookshops.
  12. Some cafes have a wall poem.
  13. Libraries have interactive poem features (like National Library’s origami boat).
  14. On-line poetry activity continues to flourish like wildfire at The Spin Off and Pantograph Punch and other excellent sites.
  15. We have mixed up citytownruralyoungoldnorthsouthshortlongedgyheartsmackingnervetinglingbody moving poetry events.
  16. People make up poems in their head even when they think they can’t.
  17. The Hard to find Bookshop stays in business because it is poetry gold.
  18. Selina Tusitala Marsh shows young poets what poetry can do across the nation.
  19. We have a national poetry festival that blasts all borders.
  20. I get to have a long poetry lunch with good food and good wine and lots of poetry.


h  a p p y    p o e t r y    d a y


for SJB:


20/20 Bringing poetry to the people with free online collection -part 3 now live

Poems here

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day celebrate their 20th anniversary this year and, to mark the occasion, are publishing free online poetry collection 20/20. The collection includes Poet Laureates, Ockham New Zealand Book Awards winners and strong new voices from recent collections and anthologies.

The 20/20 collection features 40 poems by New Zealand poets who represent the diversity and vibrancy of our literary talent. Twenty of the poets featured in the collection are acclaimed writers, who were invited to select one of their own poems that they felt spoke to New Zealanders now. They were also asked to choose a poem by an emerging poet or writer who they considered to be essential reading in 2017.

Paula Morris (Ngati Wai, Ngati Whatua), spokesperson for the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, said that she was “excited to see the range of voices selected here, and the ethnic and geographic diversity in the poets chosen by our twenty established writers. This list speaks to a ‘new’ New Zealand literature, and reflects how much our culture is changing and growing.”

The poems are published in groups of ten between 24 May and 25 August 2017, with Group Three (see below) released today. The featured poets and their chosen poems are: Auckland-based poet C. K. Stead and his choice Johanna Emeney (North Shore, Auckland); David Eggleton (Dunedin) and Leilani Tamu (Auckland); Elizabeth Smither (Taranaki) and Rob Hack (Paekakariki); Richard Reeve (Dunedin) and Michael Steven (Auckland); Robert Sullivan (Auckland) and Ngahuia Te Awekotuku (Waikato).

C. K. Stead
‘Into extra time’
The Black River (AUP, 2007)


Johanna Emeney
Apple & Tree (Cape Catley, 2011)


David Eggleton
The Conch Trumpet (OUP, 2015)

Leilani Tamu
‘Avaiki Rain’
The Art of Excavation (Anahera Press, 2014)


Elizabeth Smither
‘Miss Bowerman and the hot water bottles’
Night Horse (AUP, 2017)

Rob Hack
‘Almost a Buddhist’
Everything is Here (Escalator Press, 2016)


Richard Reeve
‘At Frankton Supermarket, Queenstown’
Manifesto Aotearoa ed. Emma Neale and Philip Temple (OUP, 2017)

Michael Steven
‘Dropped Pin: Jollie Street’
The Story of My Past Lives
(Maungatoa Press, 2017)


Robert Sullivan
‘Sullivan Whānau’
Star Waka (AUP, 1999)

Ngahuia Te Awekotuku
Puna Wai Kōrero: An Anthology of Māori Poetry in English ed. Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan (AUP, 2014).

The 20/20 collection is being made available to all New Zealanders as a free download. The PDF can be accessed on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, Friday 25 August, via this link

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day has been running continuously since 1997 and is always celebrated on the last Friday in August. Poetry enthusiasts from all over New Zealand organise a host of events – from poetry slams to flash and pop-up events – in a multiplicity of venues, including schools, libraries, bars, cafes and theatres. This year, Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day takes place on Friday 25 August 2017.

Established in 1997, National Poetry Day is about discovery, diversity, community and pushing boundaries. It is a one-day national poetry-event extravaganza held on the last Friday of August each year. This is the second year of National Poetry Day operating under the sponsorship of Phantom Billstickers.

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day is proudly administered by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust.

20/20 May Poets: A Phantom Billstickers Poetry Day celebration

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 8.38.20 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-05-25 at 8.38.40 AM.png


Alison Wong and Chris Tse

Apirana Taylor and Kiri Piahana Wong

Vincent O’Sullivan and Lynley Edmeades

Paula Green and Simone Kaho

Jenny Bornholdt and Ish Doney


This terrific project forms a little poetry reading house where you enter the rooms off the side and you don’t know what you will find. There is a vitality and a freshness as established and emerging poets and those in-between come together in poem conversations. Love it! (I am part of it but no idea how the poetry house would unfold)



National Poetry Day in Wellington


I loved National Poetry Day in Wellington so much I want to go back there again next year! I only managed four sessions but they each had their own character and stuck to me like limpets. I came away with some new poems in my head I couldn’t stop musing over.

In my piece for the NZ Herald for Poetry Day I said: ‘Some poems don’t suit us and some poems are a match made in heaven.’ And so I have asked a few of the poets to let me post a few pieces on the blog over the next week or so. For me, their poems were a match made in heaven.

I spent my time jumping in taxis to spare my foot budget barely having a change to talk poetry with all the poetry fans. All the events were packed, the atmosphere sweet with poetry.

The last event though was genius. A bunch of writers and readers talked about a poem they loved in Aro Valley Hall. This was organised by Hannah Mettner and Magnolia Wilson and was so good I think it should feature in every city’s/town’s/village’s lineup. Bravo.

Bravo Miriam Barr, Phantom Billstickers, the NZ Book Awards group, the National Library, Vic Books and Unity Books for a terrific day.

Anybody who wants to send me a short piece on Poetry Day elsewhere I would love to balance my biased experience! paulajoygreen@gmail.com


Poetry Shelf says ‘Happy National Poetry Day’ – my tips for you

Happy Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day


There is a truckload of poetry events on today – I am going to at least three.


Check out Fiona Oliver’s post on National Library blog.


Send a poem to a friend – on a postcard, in an email, by snail mail.

Support our poetry publishers and buy a poetry book or three.

Give your favourite poetry book to someone.


Make up a poem using no more than twelve words.

Have afternoon tea with friends and talk about a poem that eludes you, or soothes you, or sparks or spikes you.

I am not brave enough but try reading a poem in a public place – on a pavement or bus or train.

Try poem busking.


w e l l i n g t o n        h e r e    I    come !


My gift is to post my IBBY presentation on line today which feels a little scary as I couldn’t sleep the night before I gave it.

(Behind every stone or refrigerator hum or cup of tea there is a poem. I feel like I have spent the night in an air-conditioning unit waiting for the silence of home.)


The Reading (for Peter Ireland)


New York City is Wellington

Wellington is Thistle Hall

and James Brown

is reading Frank O’Hara

with a slight sway, the sun

blinding like free verse halos

but still the couple

in the flat opposite smooth

the cushions, butter scones

phone  a friend, take

out the rubbish,

before Helen Rickerby

takes to the stage

and reads Rome.