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Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2018

Poetry marathon for Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2018

Today (Friday 24 August 2018), a marathon programme of poetry events will take place around New Zealand in celebration of Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day.

With more than 135 events happening the length and breadth of the country, expect to encounter poetry in all sorts of places – on public transport, street posters and footpaths; in cafés, bars, bookshops, and libraries; and at schools, university campuses, retirement villages, marae, theatres and community centres.

There will be readings, performances, workshops and competitions, as well as readings with 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards poetry finalists Briar Wood and Sue Wootton in Auckland, and a workshop with winner Elizabeth Smither in Christchurch. All four 2018 Ockham poets, including Tony Beyer, feature in Phantom Billstickers’ countrywide super-size Poetry on Posters campaign and will also be filmed for a social media campaign celebrating poetry.

Held annually on the fourth Friday in August and now in its 21st year, Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day sees established poets, emerging voices and student poets take part in open mic sessions and spoken-word performances. There is also poetry contests for writers of all ages; many of the programmed events will be open to the public and free admission.

Among the scores of events taking place from the far north to the deep south are: Rodney District’s live human art/poetry installations and poems written on the sand, to be captured by drone and made into a movie; Auckland’s ‘love letters to Auckland’ event – a multimedia performance by local poets, rappers, storytellers and dancers; Taranaki’s ‘Pop Up Poetry’ exhibition of poems on sticky notes; Wellington’s Where the Wild Words Are’, in the company of local poets who will bewitch, berate, busk and bewilder; Nelson’sPoetry Fridge Door and Poetry Generator’; Christchurch’s ‘Speed Date an Editor’; Dunedin’s gala poetry evening; and Central Otago’s evening of poetry on the theme of rivers with Brian Turner, Michael Harlow, Jenny Bornholdt, Gregory O’Brien and Liz Breslin. There will even be two international poetry events at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in Berlin.

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

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 third year in a row, Phantom Billstickers support National Poetry Day through their naming rights sponsorship. In the lead up to August 24, they will bring poetry to New Zealand communities with a mighty street poster campaign.


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  • Auckland