Montana Poetry Day 2008

Friday 18 July is Montana Poetry Day – the annual national celebration of New Zealand poetry. To get you in the mood a little booklet is available in our libraries (and other places like bookshops) with a sampling of five contemporary New Zealand poets – Janet Charman, Johanna Aitchison, Fiona Farrell, Janet Frame and Bill Manhire.

Montana Poetry happens in association with the Montana New Zealand Book Awards. The winner of the poetry category is announced on Montana Poetry Day. This year’s finalists are Janet Charman, Johanna Aitchison and Fiona Farrell.

I was thinking about one of my favourite New Zealand poets – A.R.D Fairburn and that kind of made me think of a connection suggested by an interesting website I looked at today – New Zealand Folk Song. Popular songs often contain some pretty powerful poetry – compare Fairburn’s Dominion – a powerful outburst about the Depression years, with Blam Blam Blam’s There is No Depression in New Zealand – a satirical blast from the Muldoon years. Will there be a poet to record the angst of the early 21st century mortgage, cheese and petrol blues?

Digressions aside – our Poetry online resource is a great place to get further into exploring New Zealand and other poetry.

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