Friday, July 28, 2017

Bringing poetry to the people with free online collection

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day celebrate their 20th anniversary this year and, to mark the occasion, are publishing free online poetry collection 20/20. The collection includes Poet Laureates, Ockham New Zealand Book Awards winners and strong new voices from recent collections and anthologies.

The 20/20 collection features 40 poems by New Zealand poets who represent the diversity and vibrancy of our literary talent. Twenty of the poets featured in the collection are acclaimed writers, who were invited to select one of their own poems that they felt spoke to New Zealanders now. They were also asked to choose a poem by an emerging poet or writer who they considered to be essential reading in 2017.

Paula Morris (Ngati Wai, Ngati Whatua), spokesperson for the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, said that she was “excited to see the range of voices selected here, and the ethnic and geographic diversity in the poets chosen by our twenty established writers. This list speaks to a 'new' New Zealand literature, and reflects how much our culture is changing and growing.”

The poems are published in groups of ten between 24 May and 25 August 2017, with Group Three (tabled below) released today. The featured poets and their chosen poems are: Auckland-based poet C. K. Stead and his choice Johanna Emeney (North Shore, Auckland); David Eggleton (Dunedin) and Leilani Tamu (Auckland); Elizabeth Smither (Taranaki) and Rob Hack (Paekakariki); Richard Reeve (Dunedin) and Michael Steven (Auckland); Robert Sullivan (Auckland) and Ngahuia Te Awekotuku (Waikato).

C. K. Stead
‘Into extra time’
The Black River (AUP, 2007)
Johanna Emeney
Apple & Tree (Cape Catley, 2011)
David Eggleton
The Conch Trumpet (OUP, 2015)
Leilani Tamu
‘Avaiki Rain’
The Art of Excavation (Anahera Press, 2014)
Elizabeth Smither
Miss Bowerman and the hot water bottles’
Night Horse (AUP, 2017)
Rob Hack
‘Almost a Buddhist’
Everything is Here (Escalator Press, 2016)
Richard Reeve  
‘At Frankton Supermarket, Queenstown’
Manifesto Aotearoa ed. Emma Neale and Philip Temple (OUP, 2017)
Michael Steven
‘Dropped Pin: Jollie Street’
The Story of My Past Lives
(Maungatoa Press, 2017)
Robert Sullivan
‘Sullivan Whānau’
Star Waka (AUP, 1999)
Ngahuia Te Awekotuku
Puna Wai Kōrero: An Anthology of Māori Poetry in English ed.  Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan (AUP, 2014).

The 20/20 collection is being made available to all New Zealanders as a free download. The PDF can be accessed on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, Friday 25 August, via this link:

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day has been running continuously since 1997 and is always celebrated on the last Friday in August. Poetry enthusiasts from all over New Zealand organise a host of events – from poetry slams to flash and pop-up events – in a multiplicity of venues, including schools, libraries, bars, cafes and theatres. This year, Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day takes place on Friday 25 August 2017.

Established in 1997, National Poetry Day is about discovery, diversity, community and pushing boundaries. It is a one-day national poetry-event extravaganza held on the last Friday of August each year. This is the second year of National Poetry Day operating under the sponsorship of Phantom Billstickers.

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