Aotearoa has been celebrating National Poetry Day on the last Friday in August for over 20 years now! This year it’s on Friday 24 August, and across the country, you can engage in all kinds of events, workshops and competitions. There’s even people marking the occasion with poetry readings in as far flung places as Edinburgh and Berlin.
Closer to home, Ōtautahi has some really cool events you can check out, whether you’re into attending a writing workshop, seeing poetry performed, or entering a competition. If you’re into the competition side of things, make sure you map out submission dates in your calendar now – there’s lots going on with lots of different due dates, but if you leave it till the week of Poetry Day, you might be too late!
Late in the evening, there’s a fiery and feisty evening of poetry planned at the Space Academy, on St Asaph Street – ‘We Are The Persistence’ features Tusiata Avia, Ray Shipley, Alice Andersen, Rebecca Nash and Isla Martin.
If you’re looking for events that are a little more interactive, you could check out the Great Wall of Poetry – a giant display of a diverse range of local poetry – at University Bookshop, Ilam Campus. You can go along and read the work on the wall, and you can also submit your own poems.
UBS is also hosting a poetry workshop with local legend Kerrin P. Sharpe (whose new book, ‘Louder’, is being released at the end of the month). The hour-long workshop, from 12.30-1.30pm, will be full of writing exercises and feedback, with an opportunity for the work you create to be published in UBS’s inaugural National Poetry Day online collection!
Warm-up and wrap-up events happening before and after National Poetry Day
If you’re school age (year 5 to 13) you might like to check out the Young Writers Poetry Pentathlon on Thursday 23 August – a game show crossed with a writing class! Sounds wild.
And the day after National Poetry Day, the fine folk at Hagley Writers Institute are hosting two Saturday daytime workshops so you can take all the inspiration from the previous day and turn it into a poetic masterpiece.
Christchurch City Libraries are of course getting in on the poetry action with a daytime, all-ages, free event on Saturday 25 August at lovely New Brighton Library from 2pm-3pm, featuring readings from four local poets: Jeni Curtis, Heather McQuillan, David Gregory, and Jeffrey Paparoa Holman.
Explore the full list of events across New Zealand.
Nationally, there are some great and creative poetry competitions to get your teeth sunk into.
My favourite ones include:
- The Great New Zealand Prose Deletion – a creative exercise in eliminating words on a page to create something entirely new;
- 24-hour Poetry Competition – which, as the name suggests, is a competition with a strict time limit (think 48 hour film fest, but for poetry!).
- Given Words – where the poem you write must include 5 words chosen by the organizer;
- View all the poetry competitions for National Poetry Day
- Browse the full list of events across New Zealand
National Poetry Day is an opportunity for lovers of poetry to spend the day writing, listening, and getting inspired; but it’s also a day of discovery and new ideas for folks who may have found poetry a bit hard to engage with previously. New Zealand has so many wonderful poets from diverse and wonderful backgrounds, and if you take the time this National Poetry Day to encounter something new, you won’t regret it!
New Zealand poetry at WORD Christchurch Festival 2018
Find works in our collection by these New Zealand poets appearing at the WORD Christchurch Festival from Wednesday 28 August to Sunday 2 September:
- Tusiata Avia
Browse WORD Christchurch events featuring Tusiata Avia
- Hera Lindsay Bird
WORD Christchurch events featuring Hera Lindsay Bird
- Helen Heath
WORD Christchurch events featuring Helen Heath
- Dominic Hoey
WORD Christchurch events featuring Dominic Hoey
- Erik Kennedy
WORD Christchurch events featuring Erik Kennedy
- Selina Tusitala Marsh
WORD Christchurch events featuring Selina Tusitala Marsh
- Frankie McMillan
WORD Christchurch events featuring Frankie McMillan
- Heather McQuillan
WORD Christchurch events featuring Heather McQuillan
- James Norcliffe
WORD Christchurch events featuring James Norcliffe
- Tayi Tibble
WORD Christchurch events featuring Tayi Tibble
- Chris Tse
WORD Christchurch events featuring Chris Tse
See more poetry events at WORD Christchurch.