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Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day publish ten poems

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day publish ten more poems online

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day celebrate their 20th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion, are publishing 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 poems are published in groups of ten on website: between May and Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day on 25 August. Group Two is published today, Friday 30 June.

The featured poets in Group Two (tabled below) are: Christchurch-based poet Tusiata Avia and her choice Teresia Teaiwa; Kevin Ireland (Auckland) and Gregory Kan (Auckland); Diana Bridge (Wellington) and John Dennison (Wellington); Andrew Johnston (Wellington) and Bill Nelson (Wellington); Michael Harlow (Central Otago) and Paul Schimmel (Sydney).

Tusiata Avia

‘I cannot write a poem about Gaza’

Fale Aitu/ Spirit House

(VUP, 2016)

Teresia Teaiwa

‘Fear of Flying (in broken Gilbertese)’

Poetry Foundation site

Kevin Ireland

'Flying across Australia'

Looking out to sea

(Steele Roberts, 2015)

Gregory Kan

[Any of the sequences]

This Paper Boat (AUP, 2016)

Diana Bridge

‘Big Bang’

In the supplementary garden

(cold hub press, 2016)

John Dennison



(AUP, 2015)

Andrew Johnston


Fits and Starts (VUP, 2016)

Bill Nelson

‘The whys and Zs’

Memorandum of Understanding (VUP, 2016)

Michael Harlow

‘The late news’

Nothing For It But To Sing (OUP, 2016)

Paul Schimmel

‘With Words’

Reading the Water (Steele Roberts, 2016)

The 20/20 online poetry 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; writers who they considered to be essential reading in 2017.

Paula Morris, 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.”

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 feast of events – from poetry slams to flash and pop-up events – in venues that include schools, libraries, bars, galleries, surf clubs, and parks.

Now into their second year of naming rights sponsorship of National Poetry Day, Phantom Billstickers will support NPD and 20/20 on the ground, online and in print, with funky billstickers that celebrate our nation’s poets.

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


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