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Unleashing the unifying power of poetry in New Zealand communities

By May 6, 2019No Comments

On Friday 23 August 2019, Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day will once again give New Zealanders the opportunity to come together and unleash the power of poetry in their own communities.

Last year, a massive 150 events took place nationwide – double that of four years ago – bringing together acclaimed poets, new voices, young writers and poetry enthusiasts. And now it’s back, for its twenty-first year!

Acclaimed poet and poetry champion Paula Green is a big fan of the day. ‘Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day is an inventive, invigorating, heart-warming showcase of the width and depth of our poetry communities,’ she says. ‘From beloved poetry elders to emerging poets, words open and spark in every nook and cranny, on airwaves, social media and street corners. This nationwide festival connects us through the power and joy of words.’

The feast of poetry around the country – from installations to open mike performances and competitions – includes appearances from Poet Laureates, spoken-word stars, and award-winning younger writers like Hera Lindsay Bird and Courtney Sina Meredith. Venues range from theatres, cafes, bars, libraries, schools, museums, marae, community centres and bookshops to pavements, parks and public transport.

The deadline for event organisers to register and apply for seed-funding is Wednesday 22 May 2019 at 5:00pm. Events can be registered online via this link:

Held every year on the fourth Friday of August, National Poetry Day is a popular fixture on the nation’s cultural calendar. Phantom Billstickers have sponsored National Poetry Day for the past four years and support the celebrations with a nationwide poetry street poster campaign.

The Poetry winner at this year’s Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, announced on Tuesday 14 May 2019, will star in event(s) on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day. The shortlisted writers for the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry are: Helen Heath (Wellington), Erik Kennedy (Christchurch), Therese Lloyd (Wellington) and Tayi Tibble (Wellington).

Find Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day on social: / / #NZPoetryDay.


Notes to Editors

National Poetry Day has been running continuously since 1997 and since 2014, has been administered by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust. It has a mandate to celebrate discovery, diversity, community and pushing boundaries, and to ensure their longevity and credibility. The Trust also governs and manages the country’s two major literary awards – The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards and the New Zealand Book Awards for Children & Young Adults. New Zealand Book Awards Trust.

Phantom Billstickers is a street poster company which has consistently helped New Zealanders express themselves since 1982. Recognising and supporting home-grown talent has always sat comfortably alongside its commercial campaign work. Phantom actively promotes New Zealand music, art, poetry and culture around in public spaces here and overseas. Phantom Billstickers.

Paula Green is a popular poet, reviewer, literary awards judge and children’s writer. She has written numerous poetry collections and edited several anthologies. She has two popular poetry blogs, NZ Poetry Box for children and NZ Poetry Shelf for adults. Green has been a judge for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, the Ockham Secondary School Poetry Competition and the inaugural Sarah Broom Poetry Prize in 2014. In 2017, she was awarded The Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry and admitted to The New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Poetry.