Press Release – National Poetry Day
Poetry lovers are spoiled for choice with more than 60 events being held to celebrate National Poetry Day on Friday, 22 August in association with the New Zealand Post Book Awards. Now in its 17th year, National Poetry Day events include poets on buses in Wellington.
National Poetry Day’s national coordinator, Miriam Barr, says the variety of this year’s events will appeal to aspiring poetry writers, established poets, those who simply enjoy listening to poetry and those who think poetry isn’t for them. “Poetry is for everyone and National Poetry Day is too. They say every person makes poetry on a daily basis and poets are simply the people who write it down. Anyone can start writing it down and anyone can enjoy it. You are never too young or old to get involved in poetry. It might not be quite what you expect either. This year’s National Poetry Day calendar shows just how diverse the New Zealand poetry scene really is, with award-winners and emerging voices joining forces from Kaitaia to Southland.”
New Zealand’s Poet Laureate Vincent O’Sullivan will read poetry in Dunedin and 2007-2009 Poet Laureate, Michele Leggott, will MC the annual Auckland Library event with eight poets and wine. Both Vincent and Michele are finalists in the Poetry category of the 2014 New Zealand Post Book Awards. Two further poetry finalists – Caoilinn Hughes and Marty Smith – are sharing their poetry at events in Wellington.
Highlights for this year’s National Poetry Day include:
• Nationwide – Poetry Phone from 9-5. Poetry lovers can call 09 309 POEM or text +64 21 474 555 to have a poem read or texted to them (or their friends or lovers), or to be serenaded with song lyrics.
• Wellington – Poettiquette: In association with NZ Bus, poets will be turning up on Wellington buses on National Poetry Day, performing and writing poems that speak to the theme of public transport etiquette.
• Upper Hutt – 14th annual Upper Hutt Poetry Competition. Write a poem inspired by the theme of ‘Remembrance’ and win prizes for children, teens and adults. Entries to be received by Friday, 8 August and winners announced on National Poetry Day at the Upper Hutt City Library, 844 Fergusson Drive. Children and teens at 5.30pm and adults at 7pm.
• Wellington – Seven Poets Read, 12 noon at Unity Books, 57 Willis Street. Seven poets read in this free lunchtime event – hear Marty Smith, Caoilinn Hughes (both finalists in the Poetry category of the New Zealand Post Book Awards 2014), Maria McMillan, Kate Camp, Helen Heath, Emily Dobson and Frances Samuels read fresh new poetry.
• Nelson hosts Poems for Pikelets at 4-5pm on Friday, 22 August at the Elma Turner Library, 27 Halifax Street, Nelson. Open mic with a twist – read an original or favourite poem and earn a hot pikelet for each. Nelsonians can also head over to the Port-o-Poetry reading at Page & Blackmore Books for a glass of port and a bit of inspiration.
For more on National Poetry Day events, go to http://booksellers.co.nz/awards/new-zealand-post-book-awards/poetry-day
New Zealand Post Book Awards – Poetry category finalists
This year 23 poetry books were entered for this year’s New Zealand Post Book Awards, with four books being selected as finalists in the Poetry category. Convenor of the judging panel, Miriama Kamo, says, “Poetry in New Zealand is in great shape – the breadth and depth of entries submitted was excellent. It was so pleasing to see two first-time poets in the finalists list, along with current Poet Laureate Vincent O’Sullivan and former Poet Laureate Michele Leggott.”
Finalists in the Poetry category of this year’s New Zealand Post Book Awards are:
• Gathering Evidence by Caoilinn Hughes, Victoria University Press
• Heartland by Michele Leggott, Auckland University Press
• Horse with Hat by Marty Smith, Victoria University Press
• Us, then by Vincent O’Sullivan, Victoria University Press
People’s Choice closes 8pm on Friday, 15 August
The ever-popular People’s Choice award is the public’s opportunity to vote for their favourite book of the year. Readers can vote online or in a bookstore. Voting for People’s Choice closes at 8pm on Friday, 15 August.
Winners announced on Wednesday, 27 August
The winner of the New Zealand Post Book of the Year will be announced at a glittering ceremony at Wellington’s Te Papa Museum on Wednesday, 27 August. Also announced will be the winners in the four categories – Fiction, Poetry, Illustrated Non-fiction and General Non-fiction, together with the winner of the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice award and the popular People’s Choice.
The New Zealand Post Book Awards are managed by Booksellers New Zealand and sponsored by New Zealand Post. The awards are also supported by Creative New Zealand and Book Tokens New Zealand.