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Poets go Public on Montana Poetry Day Fri 21 July

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Poets go Public on Montana Poetry Day Friday 21 July 2006

Poets ‘go public’ on Montana Poetry Day, Friday 21 July 2006, New Zealand’s annual celebration of poetry and verse. Established in 1998, it has become one of the most anticipated events on the arts calendar, with poetry-related events for all ages in town and cities from Northland to Otago.

Montana Poetry Day events take many forms – street performances, poetry writing workshops, readings in cafés and bars, ‘open mike’ sessions, competitions, poetry book launches, lectures, poetry on the web, poetry on film and much more. The day brings together some of New Zealand’s most popular contemporary poets, those yet to make their mark in verse and those just wanting to share their favourite poem with a friend or an audience.

Some of the highlights from this year’s Montana Poetry Day include:

- The nzepc’s (New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre) Bluffing Auckland, presenting poetry and wine in the new Ian Athfield designed café at the Auckland City Library, starring Southland poet Cilla McQueen with Aucklanders Murray Edmond, Paula Green, Michelle Leggott and Selina Tusitala Marsh among others.

- The Divine Muses III will showcase their work at Whitespace Contemporary Art Gallery in Ponsonby, Auckland with poets Stephanie Johnson, Alistair Paterson, Iain Sharp, Siobhan Harvey and more.

- Mahy Mayhem – a mass reading of Margaret Mahy's poem Down the Back of the Chair at libraries in Hamilton.

- Poetry in Song at the Museum of City & Sea, Wellington – a concert of New Zealand poetry set to music, including two poems from Anne French’s Wild Cycle for mezzosoprano and Emma Neale’s poem Roof. With the added bonus of hearing Poetry category finalist Bill Manhire, along with Kate Camp, Hinemoana Baker and James Brown, presenting their favourite Wellington-inspired poetry.

- Poetry à la carte featuring poems and music in Christchurch, staring Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, Lindon Puffin, Karen Hunter, Ralph Woodward, Cecilia Garudi and Tom Chesney.

- Poetry and Jazz in Dunedin, featuring another Poetry category finalist Brian Turner with guests Diane Brown, Henry Davidson, David Eggleton, Jenny Powell-Chalmers, Richard Reeve and Sue Wootton.

The winner of the Poetry category in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards 2006 will be announced on Montana Poetry Day. This year’s finalists are Footfall by Brian Turner, Lifted by Bill Manhire and The Time of the Giants by Anne Kennedy. Extracts from these books feature in the Montana Poetry Day sampler which will be handed out on the streets of central Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin on the day. The samplers are available from participating bookshops and libraries throughout the country so nobody need go without a poem on the day.

The principal sponsors of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards are Montana and Creative New Zealand. The awards are managed by Booksellers New Zealand and supported by Book Publishers Association of New Zealand, the New Zealand Society of Authors and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd.

ENDS

- Participating poets are available for interview

- Poetry category finalists are available for interview

- The Poetry category winner will be available for interview on Friday 21 July

www.montanapoetryday.co.nz

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