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Poetry Returns To Tauranga This Summer

Performance poetry is returning to Tauranga this summer.

Author and poet Michael Botur is bringing his performance poetry show ‘Loudmouth’ to two Tauranga venues, and Botur will also deliver two fiction writing workshops.

The poetry shows take place at The Jam Factory on January 14 and a soon-to-be-announced venue, with the support of local guest poets Captain Houndstooth and Dhaivat Mehta.

The creative writing workshops, at The Artery on January 14 and Greerton Library on January 17, are streamed to appeal to youth and mature writers.

Botur’s shows and workshops are by koha (donation) entry and funded thanks to Creative Bay of Plenty and TECT Arts Mini Grants, which have funded a range of January arts events including art exhibitions for Muslim women and cancer survivors, theatre wellbeing wananga, plus workshops on youth theatre, Pasifika artist networking and more.

Botur acknowledged the Tauranga writers and organisers who have “kept the torch burning” for creative writing in the region.

“2020 was a challenging year and it felt hard to prioritise the arts. But a town which doesn’t keep the arts alive loses part of its soul, so it’s awesome that organisers like Tauranga Writers and The Jam Factory are sustaining literary events in the Bay,” Botur said.

“Dhaivat Mehta and Jay Fitton also deserve acknowledgement for putting on poetry slams and teaching the community that making art with words can be exciting and valuable.”

Botur said the performances aim to inspire people to graduate from page poetry to performance poetry, while the workshops aim to inspire writers to match their ambition with realistic 2021 publishing options.

“Performance poetry is a powerful medium, but it’s an art form which usually only has a cult following - and the locals tell me there has been almost no performance poetry in the Bay since 2017,” Botur said.

“You don’t know how impressive beat poetry can be until you stumble into a pub midway through a poet’s performance and witness them creating art out of thin air.”

“I’ve been privileged to be involved with a renaissance of poetry in Whangarei over the last six years. We filled up rooms and inspired plenty of people and we have only half the population of Tauranga, so it will be excellent if we can breathe fresh air into literary arts around the Bay of Plenty.”

Botur is author of ten books including six short story collections, three novels and Loudmouth: Page and Pub Poems, which was performed as a stage show at Whangarei’s Fringe Festival in September 2020. Botur has won or placed runner-up in short story, flash fiction and poetry competitions in NZ and the US since 2005.

Michael Botur Tauranga poetry and writing workshop dates:

Youth Creative Writing Workshop - Thursday January 14 - 10am-12.30pm, The Artery, Historic Village. RSVP to

‘Loudmouth’ poetry performance plus open mic and local poet Jay Fitton - Thursday January 14 - 7-9pm, The Jam Factory

Creative Writing Workshop - ‘Take your writing off the page’ Sunday January 17 - 2pm-4pm, Greerton Library

Second poetry performance - date and venue TBC - guest poet Dhaivat Mehta. Details at

RSVPs are essential - register via

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