Have you ever fancied yourself as a poet? Many of us have, and that includes me. From the age of about 6, as soon as I could form words, I wrote cutesy short rhyming poems pretty much along the lines of ‘the cat sat on the mat’. I kept writing and through my teenage years my scribblings turned a bit angsty with obscure lines that meant something only to me. But over time things smoothed out and I was able to capture feeling and sentiment in words in a way that other people could relate to. If any of these stages sound like you, then listen up! New Zealand is lucky to have an umbrella identity for poetry and to celebrate a day for poetry and performance around the country. Phantom Billstickers is the supporting company. If you have ever wondered how the posters informing us about all the amazing cultural events taking place around our cities and towns get posted, think no more: Phantom Billstickers do a great job!
Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2017 unleashes the power of New Zealand poetry on the 25 August with a twentieth anniversary celebration!
National Poetry Day kicked off in 2007 and this year to help celebrate 20 years of poetic words and performance in New Zealand, over 100 events and activities are taking place around the country on or around 25th August.
This year’s packed programme features dynamic and accessible events, workshops and competitions, featuring acclaimed poets, new voices, young writers, and poetry enthusiasts. From Slam Poetry to sonnets, from stages to pavements, poetry will be created and enjoyed in a myriad of venues around the country: cafes, bars, schools, university campuses, community centres, retirement villages, marae, libraries and theatres – as well as on buses, trains and ferries.
Go to this link and find out about all the incredible events celebrating the power of words. And enter the competitions! Or go to a poetry slam! Read poetry to your kids, or to yourself. Be transported by words. The power of words, the power of thought. Share it.
For the full calendar of events go to this link
Waiheke Poetry Event
Waiheke Song & Poetry Thing proudly presents The Love Jam 2017 as a warm down event to celebrate National Poetry Day on August 26th at the Waiheke Library, 6.30 – 8.30 pm. This event aims to celebrate in the warmest of ways, the island’s large and diverse creative community of poets, writers and musicians. Featuring local poets Sophia Johnson, Rata Gordon, Sue Fitchett, Michele Chote, plus Dylan Hinchley and Aurora Grace. Te Reo teacher Ani Morris will perform an original song and popular local band Dollface will perform. The event is being organized by poets and performers Katy Soljak, Julie Biuso and Kathy Voyles. The MC for the evening will be popular Waiheke compere Bruce Davis Goff.
And in order to get that creative spirit buzzing and to get the island in a writing mood, the group are organizing an all-island poetry competition, with winners announced and their poems performed on the night.
“Wonderful words are coming in from all over the island but we need more poems from kids in particular,” says Kathy Voyles.
“So, get writing Waiheke, even if you have never written so much as a 3 line Haiku before. Remember the film The Hunt for the Wilderpeople when Ricky reads his poetry out to Heck: sharing stories, and emotions and words can be healing. Poetry has helped lift my spirits during stressful times and it may be just what we need in New Zealand to help us talk about feelings and address the very many problems our nation is facing,” she says.
Katy Soljak echoes that thought: “Poetry is cathartic: it has helped me work through difficult and challenging times in my life but once it’s written down on the page I feel a sense of relief.”
The deadline for poems is August 18th at 4.00pm.
There will be prizes for the competition winners, which is for Waiheke residents only. The categories are: 5-12 years, 13-18 and all others (adults).
In the words of Julie Biuso, “Sometimes words dance in front of your eyes but don’t penetrate then something catches your attention and makes you pause, think and reflect. A poem doesn’t have to rhyme, doesn’t have to be long: it’s sometimes just a line or two and you can be taken on such an amazing journey.
“It really is wonderful that so many people on the island feel passionate about encouraging performance, whether it be art, music or words, and our aim is to keep the rich art culture alive and flourishing on Waiheke,” she says, “so put pen to paper and have a go.”
The Waiheke Love Jam 2017 will be a ticketed event with delicious nibbles provided by Julie Biuso of Shared Kitchen, including Julie’s renowned erbazzone (Italian flaky pastry spinach pie) and Waiheke’s famed Te Matuku oysters. There will be a complimentary glass of SOHO wine, and non-alcoholic beverages such as homemade iced teas and Lewis Road chocolate and strawberry milk.
Entry Details: $20 for waged, $10 for the low or unwaged, (students and children are free but koha for the nibbles would be appreciated). Please reserve your seats by email from firstname.lastname@example.org Date/Times: Sat 26th August, 6.30-8.30
More information here www.fb.com/events/671019349759341
The Song & Poetry Group morphed into a monthly event following the Waiheke Poetry Festivals and has been holding open mike nights at the Sandbar in Oneroa every last Thursday of the month, where poets and bands can sign up to perform. Local poet Sue Fitchett began the sessions with Katy Soljak and the Sandbar with its friendly staff has proved to be just the right size of venue to provide a welcoming space for both amateur and professional performers.
“It’s always a great night, with a great sense of fun, some drama, much lightness and always a great sense of support for the performer. You never know who will turn up and what exactly they will do, but you will leave uplifted and keen to go to the next one,” according to Kathy Voyles.
*Poster by Miles Gillett
Some of the prizes our lucky poets will win.
FULLERS 12 Child return tickets & 3 Adult Return Ferry Tickets https://www.fullers.co.nz
Ockham NZ Book Awards
Four poetry books from finalists 2017 Ockham NZ Book Awards courtesy of the NZ Book Awards Trust and the shortlisted books’ publishers.
1 x Ockham Poetry Award Winner for 2017: Fits & Starts by Andrew Johnston, published by Victoria University Press http://vup.victoria.ac.nz/fits-and-starts/
1 x Winner of Jessie Mackay Best First Book Award for Poetry 2017: Hera Lindsay Bird by Hera Lindsay Bird, published by Victoria University Press http://vup.victoria.ac.nz/hera-lindsay-bird/
1 x Ockham NZ Book Awards 2017 Poetry Finalist: Fale Aitu | Spirit House by Tusiata Avia, published by Victoria University Press http://vup.victoria.ac.nz/fale-aitu-spirit-house/
1 x Ockham NZ Book Awards 2017 Poetry Finalist: This Paper Boat by Gregory Kan, published by Auckland University Press http://www.press.auckland.ac.nz/en/browse-books/all-books/books-2016/this-paper-boat.html
Rangihoua Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Waiheke Herb Spread https://www.rangihoua.co.nz
Signed copy of Julie Biuso At Home, published by New Holland PLUS Shared Kitchen Olives & Preserved Lemons https://sharedkitchen.co.nz
2 bottles SOHO Carter Chardonnay 2015 http://www.sohowineco.com
2 bottles Lawson’s Dry Hills Mount Vernon http://www.lawsonsdryhills.co.
$50.00 voucher The Island Grocer Waiheke www.theislandgrocer.co.nz
3 copies Under Italian Skies by Nicky Pellegrino, published by orion Books http://www.nickypellegrino.com/under-italian-skies/
Copy of Lauris Edmond’s Night Burns with a White Fire Published by Steele Roberts Aotearoa Publishers https://waihekeloka.wordpress.com/catherine-mitchell-arts-centre/
Copy of Healthy Lunchbox Love by Wick Nixon www.wickedwellbeing.com
Marino Lodge 2 x Pinot Gris http://www.marinoridge.co.nz