Dust down your words for National Poetry Day

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2019 will be celebrated this Friday 23 August, including two community events in Raglan.

National Poetry Day is an annual nationwide celebration of all things poetic. Coordinated by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, the day is an eclectic mix of events, workshops and competitions, featuring acclaimed poets, new voices, young writers and poetry enthusiasts. From slam poetry to sonnets, stages to pavements, people will be creating and enjoying poetry in a myriad of venues around the country: cafes, bars, schools, university campuses, community centres, retirement villages, marae, libraries and theatres – even on trains!

In Raglan, we are starting the celebrations early with a Youth Poetry and Spoken Word Slam at the Old School Arts Centre on the evening of Thursday 22 August. Anyone under 18 is welcome to come along and read their own, or another’s work, to an appreciative audience.

The second event is at the Raglan Club on Friday 23 August, and again is open to all. Poetry, prose, song, rap, flash fiction, hip-hop and everything in between, this is an open mic night, where everyone can take to the stage to share their favourite words.

Both events kick off at 7pm, and both are entry by koha. Register on the night by adding your name to the board.

The events are being run by Inkspillers – a recently established writers and illustrators collective based out of Raglan.

Inkspillers’ purpose fits well with National Poetry Day. We’re all about bringing words – in their many glorious forms – to the people, and bringing people together to enjoy the creativity of words.

One of our motivations in establishing the collective was to raise the profile of words and books in our community. Raglan is a very creative place, but writers tend to be reclusive, and we felt people may be unaware of the many wonderful works that are being written and published here.

Our members include poets, novelists, memoirists, professional and inspirational writers, and children’s book writers and illustrators. In the past couple of months, we’ve had two book launches, with another couple on the horizon. One member has finished a novel, another is in the final stages of editing the final volume in a trilogy, and two books for children are on the boat from the printer in China, ready for release next month. Oh, and one of us has been shortlisted for a national prize.

We hope you’ll join us for this years’ National Poetry Day celebrations.

To check out the full calendar of events see: http://www.nzbookawards.nz/national-poetry-day/calendar-of-events/

Sarah Johnson