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Top Poets Perform on Montana Poetry Day


For immediate release

26 June 2008

Attached: Montana Poetry Day national events listing.

Top Poets Perform on Montana Poetry Day

Celebrated New Zealand poets, Sam Hunt, CK Stead, Glenn Colquhoun and Poet Laureate Michelle Legott take to the stage to celebrate Montana Poetry Day, Friday 18 July.

Established in 1998, Montana Poetry Day has since become one of the most anticipated events on the arts calendar. This year will see poetry-related events for all ages, in towns and cities from Northland to Otago. 

Montana Poetry Day national coordinator, Laura Kroetsch says this is a wonderful opportunity to listen to some of our most respected writers perform.

‘We know their work, but we rarely have an opportunity to see them perform.  This year, there are more than 100 poets venturing out for readings, open mic’ sessions and poetry slams. They will be on stages, in cafes and theatres nationwide all celebrating the written and the spoken word. So don’t miss out on this valuable poetry opportunity.’

Montana Poetry Day isn’t just for the experts; this year will see emerging and young writers mix with those who simply want to share a favourite poem or verse.

‘You don’t need to be a regular poetry-reader to enjoy the events. Montana Poetry Day is all about breaking down perceptions of poetry as an untouchable medium. It’s about going along, listening, enjoying, and even taking part, in the events happening in your town. It’s hugely good fun,’ says Ms Kroetsch.

Montana Poetry Day’s organised events include poetry slamming and songs, a Taniwha Jelly Tumble poetry competition for the kids and an eight-hour poetry marathon.

A few of Montana Poetry Day’s highlights are,

Nationwide: Poetry Wall. At all libraries from Monday 14 July - Saturday 19 July. Add a favourite poem to the wall. 
Whangarei: Te Whakapouri/ The Darkening. 7.00pm. Join Penehamine Netana-Patuawa (Benjamin Nathan) for an hour long poetry performance at the Arts Promotion Trust. The actor who made headlines when he smashed the America’s Cup is now increasingly known for his performance poetry.
·         Auckland: The Divine Muses Celebrate their 5th Birthday. 7.00pm. Readers include CK Stead, Iain Sharp, Harry Ricketts, Chris Price, Stu Bagby, Sue Reidy, Renee Liang and Siobhan Harvey. City Art Rooms, Level 1, 28 Lorne Street.


Auckland: Traffic in Gold. 2.00pm. Join Anna Rugis and Jack Ross for an hour of spoken and sung poetry at the Auckland City Art Gallery.
Tauranga: Loose Canons at the Orange Zephy Café. 7.00pm. Tauranga writers will host an evening of poetry featuring Marcel Currin, Daryl Belbin, Hannah Jone and Belisha.
Palmerston North: Writer Read. 7.00pm Palmerston North City Library and Massey University host former Poet Laureate Elizabeth Smither.
Upper Hutt: An evening with Sam Hunt. 8.30pm. Café Romeo, 98 Main St.
Wellington: Two Rivers Meet. 12 noon. A screening of the classic 1977 film Two Rivers Meet. The film showcases Maori poets in the context of the political issues of time. Narrated by Rowley Habib, the film features Keri Hulme, Hone Tuwhare and Apirana Taylor. The evening will also feature Apirana Taylor reading his work and commenting on the film. At City Gallery.
Wellington: Eight-Hour Capital ‘Marathon’ on Montana New Zealand Poetry Day. From 9.00am. Bring your poems to Wellington's famous Cuba Street's Bucket Fountain and perform at New Zealand's largest Poetry Marathon.
Christchurch: Poems for Lunch – A menu of astonishing variety. 12.30pm. University Bookshop on Campus is hosting a lunchtime reading featuring Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, Dora Sharpe-Davidson, Rebekah Eder, Rachel King, Ross Brighton, Marissa Johnpillai and Doc Drumheller.
Alexandra: Musings and Music.  7.30pm. Dunstan High School will host an evening of New Zealand poetry and music based around an evening held in Auckland in 1953 on which seven of New Zealand leading poets gave a poetry reading, with music composed especially by Douglas Lilburn.
Dunedin: Poetry Evening at the Dunedin City Library. 7.30pm. Featuring ten poets including Emma Neale, Sue Wootton, Peter Olds, Jenny Chalmers, Diane Brown, Lydia Edwards and Si Matthews. 
All listed events take place on Friday 18 July unless otherwise stated.


The 2008 Montana New Zealand Book Awards poetry category winner will be announced on Montana Poetry Day.

The finalists of the poetry category are: Cold Snack by Janet Charman (Auckland University Press), A Long Girl Ago by Johanna Aitchison (Victoria University Press) and The Pop-Up Book of Invasions by Fiona Farrell (Auckland University Press).

Single poems from each book feature in the Montana Poetry Day samplers which are available from participating bookshops and libraries.

The winner of the poetry category competes with the fiction category winner for the Montana Medal for Fiction or Poetry (formerly the Deutz medal). The winner of the Montana Medal for Fiction or Poetry will be announced at a gala dinner to be held at the Wellington Town Hall on Monday 21 July 2008.

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 the Book Publishers Association of New Zealand, the New Zealand Society of Authors and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd.


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