Thursday, June 25, 2009

Words Come Alive on Montana Poetry Day
Poetry marathons, poetry puddings, resurrection nights and poetry slams; words come alive everywhere on Friday 24th July, Montana Poetry Day.
From Whangarei in the North to Invercargill in the South, established poets and those who simply want to give poetry a go, will take part in a huge variety of public events in celebration of our most creative writing form.

The day provides a rare opportunity to catch such acclaimed poets as Sam Hunt, CK Stead, Karlo Mila and Glenn Colquhoun perform live. And if you’ve been harbouring a desire to perform a piece of your own, this is the day to throw caution to the wind.

Montana Poetry Day national coordinator, poet Siobhan Harvey says this year’s line-up is a wonderful spread of words, writers and innovative events.
‘This year, there are more than 100 poets venturing out for readings, open mic’ sessions and poetry slams. Words will be spilling onto pavements, out of offices and into classrooms, cafes and theatres.
‘It’s a great way to forget about your day-to-day worries and transport yourself somewhere else with words. Don’t miss out, this is soul food – and it’s going to be a lot of fun.’

A few of Montana Poetry Day’s highlights this year are:
Havelock North. Toast Art @ Pipi Café, 2.00pm,16 Joll Road.
Renowned poet, Sam Hunt and toast artist Maurice Bennett will unveil Maurice’s latest artwork, a Sam Hunt poem printed onto Poesy Bread. Afterwards, Hunt will read his work outside the café.
Whangarei. The Great Wall of Words, Storytime, The Strand on Vine. The public are invited to submit their poems to Storytime – on one sheet of A4 please by 13th July. A selection of the best poems will be made, and those chosen will be on display on Storytime’s The Great Wall of Words.
Auckland. The Divine Muses VI Poetry Reading, 7.00pm – 9.30 pm,The Women’s Pioneer Hall, 2 Freyburg Place, Auckland CBD. The Divine Muses Poetry Reading marks its 6th birthday with a line-up of nine stellar poets including Janet Charman, Murray Edmond, Stephanie Johnson, Selina Tusitala Marsh and Iain Sharp.
Auckland. Late @ Lopdell Poetry Reading, 7.30 pm ,Lopdell House Gallery, 418 Titirangi Road, Titirangi. A night of fabulous poetry and music. Readings from CK Stead, Karlo Mila, Glenn Colquhoun, Riemke Ensing, Genevieve Maclean, Gus Simonovic, Renee Liang (pic right) and Tim Heath.

Katikati. Having Fun with Poetry, 9.30am –2.00pm, Katikati Primary, Matahui Primary and Pahoia Primary Schools. Gaye Hemsley of DancWrite Productions will lead children in readings and dance/ movement to well-loved New Zealand poems.
Palmerston North. Eyes in the Skies: Matariki Poetry, 5.30pm , Square Edge. Using nga taongapuoro and voice, HAUnt Wind Stories presents an evening of music showcasing new poems by seven Manawatu poets including Karlo Mila and Johanna Aitchison. The poems will have been made into prints by printmaker Virginia Jamieson which will be unveiled during this event.
Wellington. Best New Zealand Poems, 12.15, Te Marae, Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tougarewa. Poets whose work was selected as 2008 Best New Zealand Poems will read their poems and share favourite poems at this event. The stellar line-up includes 2009 poetry category finalist Chris Orsman plus Amy Brown, Cliff Fell, Johanna Aitchison and others. Chaired by Bill Manhire.
Wellington. Capital Poetry Marathon, 9.00am – 5.00pm, Bucket Fountain, Cuba Mall. Come along and participate or simply sit and enjoy this marathon feast of poetry. An open mic will operate all day for all comers to read their poems – any style goes. There will also be an Astropoetry Lunch Hour celebrating the International Year of Astronomy in which poets reading astronomy themed poems are welcome to read.

Christchurch. A Poetic Pause and Wall of Words, 12.30 – 1.30pm, Canterbury University Bookshop, University Drive, Ilam, Christchurch. An exciting lunchtime poetry reading featuring some of Canterbury’s finest poets: Fiona Farrell (pic left), Bernadette Hall and Jeffrey Paparoa Holman. This reading will be the culmination of a week of busy poetic activities as the bookshop devotes one of its walls – The Wall of Words – to anyone wishing to post their own and/or favourite poems.
Wanaka. Big Sky Poetry, 5.00 – 7.00pm, Wanaka Public Library, 2A Bullock Creek, Wanaka. A prestigious line-up of poets - Brian Turner (pic right), Sue Wootton and David Eggleton – read their verse alongside the winner and runners up of Wanaka Library’s Montana Poetry Day Poetry Competition. Come along to hear the poets and bring a favourite poem to post on the Library’s Poetry Wall.
Dunedin. Poetry Evening, 7.30pm, Dunedin Public Libraries, 230 Moray Place, Dunedin. Poetry will be read by some of Dunedin’s most well-respected poets as well as emerging names, including Emma Neale, Michael Harlow, David Karena Holmes,
Martha Morseth and Si Mathews.
All listed events take place on Friday 24 July unless otherwise stated. For details of all events around New Zealand go to

The 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Awards Poetry Category winner and Best First Book, Poetry winner will be announced on Montana Poetry Day.
The finalists of the Poetry category are: Get Some by Sonja Yelich (Auckland University Press), The Lakes of Mars by Chris Orsman (Auckland University Press) and The Rocky Shore by Jenny Bornholdt (Victoria University Press).
The finalists in the NZSA Best First Book Award for Poetry are: Everything Talks by Sam Sampson (Auckland University Press), The Propaganda Poster Girl by Amy Brown (Victoria University Press) and The World’s Fastest Flower by Charlotte Simmonds (Victoria University Press).
Single poems from each book feature in the Montana Poetry Day samplers which are available from participating bookshops and libraries.
The winner of the Poetry category competes with the Fiction category winner for the Montana Medal for Fiction or Poetry.

The winner of the Montana Medal for Fiction or Poetry will be announced at a gala dinner to be held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on Monday 27 July 2009.

No comments: