The Sunday Series: National Poetry Month


This year August is the cruelest month.  It’s National Poetry Month during the time of Covid.   The Booksellers site says “No official Poetry Day for 2020, but poets still encouraged to celebrate on 21 August 2020. The ongoing restrictions and concerns around Covid-19 demand a different approach this year to our national celebration of poetry.”    But it’s clear that not everyone has read that!

We honour poets in the same way we honour athletes and business leaders – we give them a title – Poet Laureate.   Wikipedia defines it as   “A poet laureate (plural: poets laureate) is a poet officially appointed by a government or conferring institution, typically expected to compose poems for special events and occasions.”  The Cambridge Dictionary says ” poet laureate definition: 1. in the UK, a poet given a special position by the king or queen, who is asked to write poems about important public occasions.”  There must be some interesting public occasion poems being written in the UK at the moment.

The 2020 Poet Laureate here in New Zealand is a very ordinary looking man.  You could stand behind him (at the appropriate distance) in the supermarket and never think he was poet.  No Sam Hunt rural flamboyance or Margaret Mahy vibrant multi-coloured coat, no Selina Tusitala-Marsh cascade of hair.     An ordinary looking New Zealand man encouraging us with his words.


Eggleton’s poem for ANZAC Day 2020 is poignant and memorable in this New Zealand Herald recording.  The combination of the words and images bringing the times together


What’s it like being the Poet Laureate?  Laureate 2019 tells it..


You don’t have to be the PL to have inside words wanting to burst out.  Here’s David Eggleton in 2015.  And if you want to see inspirational contemporary spoken word poetry from young people check out The South Auckland Poets Collective – inspirational.


So what’s up for NPD 2020 in Aotearoa, New Zealand? 

“It’s 2020! This year’s Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day may not be official, but there will still be chaos, fun, pop-up events, poetry slams, spoken word performances, book launches and readings up and down the country.

Scroll down and check out our diverse and extraordinary celebration of poets and poetry! There will be an event for everyone! The full 2020 calendar will be launched at the beginning of August.

Roll on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2020!

Quick Menu: Regions

Nationwide | Northland | Auckland Region | Waikato/Coromandel | Bay of Plenty/Rotorua | Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay Region | Taranaki | Mangawhatu/Whanganui | Wellington/Kapiti Coast | Nelson Region | Canterbury | West Coast | Otago

Bay of Plenty/Rotorua

Katikati Share a Poem: Chrome Cafe

Since the conception of Poetry Day Christina Productions has organized celebrations for the day. Director Gaye Hemsley will visit a kindergarten, primary school and a retirement home doing ‘having fun with poetry sessions’ proving poetry is for all ages. Our community is invited to share a poem in a private room at a local cafe. Poems may be your own, or one of your favourite poets. If you don’t want to participate in the reading just sit back and listen by a cosy fire. Special thanks to Chrome Cafe for use of their room.

Entry Details: koha – a donation for daffodil day is appreciated

Date /Time: Friday 21 August from 11:30am

Location: Chrome Café, 3 Wharawhara Rd, Katikati

Contact: Gaye 07 5771 753 mobile 0272748753

Further Information: email


POETRYBOMB: Poetry In Windows

Local poems displayed in the windows of over 20 participating outlets. Poems changing daily over 10 days. One of our Poetry Encounters when poetry comes out into the community unexpected places, for all to enjoy.

Date/Times: National Poetry Day 21st August until 30th August

Location: Rotorua City Central Business, and some further afield in suburban cafes, and retail outlets


Further Info:

POETRYBOMB: ‘Ngā Kupu o Ngā Wahine Words of Women’

On the eve of National Poetry Day we celebrate the diversity of poetry written by women. An invite to all poetry lovers to join together with us amongst the bookshelves at the fabulous McLeods Booksellers. The evening include women poets performing their original works, plus we welcome all attending to bring and read their favourite poems by women. Event supported by: Rotorua Lakes Council/McLeods Booksellers.

Entry details: No charge. Gold coin donation appreciated. For all ages To secure a reading spot we encourage a RSVP by Monday 17th to Jill

Date/Times: Thursday 20 August 5.15pm – 6.30 pm

Location: McLeods Booksellers 1148 Pukuatua Street Rotorua

Contact: Frank /Walker, organisers of PoetryBOMB

Jill Walker

Further Info:

POETRYBOMB: Poetry Workshop for Young People

Free workshop for 8yr to 16 yr olds interested in becoming writers of poetry or even better young poets. This workshop will be practical and fun. Workshop Facilitator: Terry Locke.

Entry details: No cost. Open to 8yrs-16 yrs. Limited to 16 people. Bookings essential: c/- Jill

Date/Times: Thursday 20 August 3.30pm -5.30pm

Location: Te Aka Mauri Rotorua Public Library (in community meeting room), 1127 Haupapa Street, Rotorua

Contact: For bookings – Jill Walker

For workshop information Terry Locke

Further Info:

POETRYBOMB: Making the Poetic Line sing – Poetry Workshop for adults

Hands on w/shop for adults interested in writing poetry. An opportunity to come to grips with the im-portance of sound and rhythm. Facilitator Terry Locke: “ We’ll build a poem from the ground up focusing specifi-cally on a range of sound devices and ways of attending to the rhythmic qual-ities of language.” Bookings essential.

Entry Details: $25 unwaged $15. Limited to 25. Bookings essential c/Jill Walker email:

Date/Times: SATURDAY 22 AUGUST 1.00-3.30pm

Location: Eric Bridgeman Room, ARTS VILLAGE, 1240 Hinemaru Street, ROTORUA

Contact: For bookings Jill Walker email

Further Info:

POETRY JAM – Rhythm & Rhyme

LIVE Performance: local poets, musicians plus open mic. Koha entry. A FRANK/WALKER & ROTORUA MAD POETS collaboration.

Date/Times: Sunday 23rd August 3.30pm -5.30pm

Location: LEVEL 13 1141 Eruera Street, Rotorua

Contact: FRANK/WALKER Email

Further Info:

Launch of “Poems From the Bunker”Rotorua Mad Poets Society launch of “Poems From The Bunker”.

On March 24th 2020, our nation of five million people was ordered into Lockdown by the New Zealand government, in response to the Covid 19 Pandemic. When members of the Rotorua Mad Poets Society were unable to hold our weekly meetings at Atlantis Books, it was decided to collect poems on a weekly basis from members by email, which were then forwarded to our membership. Over a three month period, members wrote over 120 poems on a wide range of themes, including reflections on the Lockdown period and on special celebrations which happened during that time; Easter, ANZAC Day, and Queen’s Birthday.

Entry Details: Free, all welcome

Date/Times: Friday August 21st 4.00pm to 5.30pm

Location: Te Aka Mauri (Rotorua Public Library), Haupapa Street, Rotorua

Contact: Jackie Evans

Further info: Facebook – Rotorua Mad Poets Society

Poetry, like all forms of creativity is a statement.  Here’s our current Poet Laureate making a contemporary statement


This article has been compiled from text, videos and information available online.

Rosemary Balu. Rosemary Balu is the founding and current Managing Editor of ARTbop. Rosemary has arts and law degrees from the University of Auckland. She has been a working lawyer and has participated in a wide variety of community activities where information gathering, submission writing, community advocacy and education have been involved. Interested in all forms of the arts since childhood Rosemary is focused on further developing and expanding multi-media ARTbop as the magazine for all the creative arts in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand



 the Bay of Plenty’s creative arts magazine!

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Check out the recently published content on ARTbop: Chapter III of Nick Scott’s episodic novel “Temple’s Job”- crime in Christchurch; Part II  of Busted: Auckland & Black Asterisk Rosemary’s trip to Auckland to visit Ponsonby gallery Black Asterisk;  Nick’s review of The Personal History of David Copperfield and don’t miss the archives of The Sunday Series – last week focuses on the importance of local markets to creatives and artisan producers in our small rural communities.

And we want to recommend the heartstrings tugging  iphone filmed series “Cancelled”


                                           The Corner Shop NZ

We encourage you to Live local, Love local, and to See and Buy local!

 You can check our progress on the property up here in Whakamarama and some more of the eclectic range of the vintage, collectable and just plain weird we have in our shop and the decor around our little house.     We hope you are all safe and well and that you are back in one of our  favourite cafes (with cake)!




WHILE THE WORLD CONTINUES TO FACE THE CURRENT HEALTH CRISIS NZ Must See will bring New Zealand to you through its facebook page.


Morrinsville, Waikato provincial town – an art gallery, a museum, an historic hotel, a market and cafes galore. Well worth a visit.

The Incubator Gallery

Auckland City Art Gallery

Tauranga waterfront

See who’s in the Satellite Studios at The Incubator

Walk the slope of Mauao

9th Avenue, vintage, cake, gifts and style

Catch a gig at The Jam Factory

Driving through Katikati check out The Arts Junction

Buy the best of artisan art and art craft at Pahoia Markets

The Tauranga Art Gallery

Walk the Puketoki Reserve

Check out the Morrinsville Country Market

Historic Maketu

Comvita home of honey Paengaroa

Pilot Bay & the Mount

And then go to fabulous Waihi Beach!

The Artery arts learning space – love the colour!

Check out what’s inside the People’s Gallery

Taupo public art

History at Te Ranga on the outskirts of urban Tauranga






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