Phantom Blog

Phantom Blog

This is rough

Poetry written by those living on the street

At Phantom Billstickers, we’ve been pasting poems in public almost as long as we’ve been printing posters.

But we’ve never taken part in a launch like this before.

‘Rough Lives Speak’ is a new poetry anthology from a group who face more obstacles than most. People living rough on the streets of Auckland often have amazing stories to tell. However, they aren’t the sort of voices that usually get an audience.

That’s about to change. A Street Poets’ Collective called SPACE has been working with Auckland Libraries and Auckland City Mission over the past few years to run poetry workshops. This project has led to a book – Rough Lives Speak.

And now some of the poems from that book are appearing in Phantom frames around central Auckland.

Daren Kamali is helping bring the project to life. We asked him to fill us in on the story to date.

Daren, what’s behind the idea of poetry from rough sleepers?

“I’ve always had a dream to form a Street Poets Collective as I started busking in Auckland’s CBD doing street poetry during late 90s. The SPACE concept arose again when I started working at Central Library and noticed the library was rough sleeper-friendly. So I took this as an opportunity to give them a voice through poetry, and formed SPACE. 

“Apart from published material, most of the work such as photos, unpublished poems, videos and ephemera, will be deposited in special collections at Central Auckland Library.”

How is the project run?

“It’s an Auckland Libraries, Auckland City Mission and Connected Communities collaboration. SPACE started running poetry workshops and gathering at the City Mission in March 2021, and ran 21 weeks of writing and conversations before lockdown in August 2021. From these meetings we are creating an anthology that we’re planning to launch in June 2022. As of early February 2022, SPACE meetings and workshops have been held at St Matthew’s Church on the corner of Wellesley and Hobson Street in the city.”

Why poetry on posters, and why work with Phantom Billstickers?

“We wanted to work with Phantom as they publish poems publicly and in various locations in the CBD. That’s the primary focus of this collective – to get their words and voices to the public. And what a great idea for walking traffic to stop and read a poem or two from the streets.”

Any feedback so far?

“We’ve had articles, videos, word of mouth covered by the media and the general public, with amazing support from Auckland Council and Connected Communities in the sourcing and funding of the SPACE initiative.

“SPACE poets and artists cannot wait to see their work published and launched. We also have a bunch of readers who are eagerly awaiting the launch of the anthology ‘Rough Lives Speak.’”

Got an arts project, a concert or a cultural event that needs exposure? Call 0800 PHANTOM or email anton@0800phantom.co.nz to find out how Phantom can amplify your voice.

Registrations open for participation in the 25th National Poetry Day on 26 August

Aotearoa’s countrywide celebration of poetry is preparing to mark its 25th anniversary with plans for the broadest range of events and promotions yet, as registrations open today for participation in Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day on 26 August 2022.

National Poetry Day co-ordinator Erica Stretton says that after two years of largely online events, the NPD team, poets and organisers are all eager and optimistic about a return to the usual feast of in-person and community events across the motu.

She urges organisers to register their interest early in hosting an event on or around 26 August, in order to access the seed funding available and to be included in the heavily promoted official calendar of NPD events.

“We’ve all learned so much in the past two years about the power of the digital reach in showcasing poets and poetry, and online will continue to play an important part in our promotions. But we can’t wait to see poets and enthusiasts unleashing the power of poetry again in theatres, cafes, marae, bookshops and libraries, in parks and on beaches, pavements and public transport, anywhere and everywhere!”

In 2019 a massive 160 events took place nationwide, bringing together acclaimed poets, new voices, young writers and poetry enthusiasts of all ages.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of NPD sponsor, Phantom Billstickers. CEO Robin McDonnell says the company has plenty planned to mark its special milestone, but that poetry will always be at the heart of what they do. “Phantom’s founder Jim Wilson was sharing the works of New Zealand poets on posters in New Zealand and around the world well before the company was even formed. We can’t wait to take the power of poetry to the streets of Aotearoa again in our 40th year, in a nationwide poster campaign in the lead up to National Poetry Day 2022.”

Interested organisers can access registration documents, templates and a full range of planning and promotional resources via the NPD website at www.poetryday.co.nz. Registrations for seed funding close at 5pm on 1 June 2022. The official Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2022 calendar will be announced on 1 August.

For further information contact Erica Stretton at poetryday@nzbookawards.org.nz and to keep up with plans for NPD 2022, follow NZPoetryDay on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

If walls could speak…

Painting the streets with poetry

Coming soon to a wall near you: 14 fresh new voices from Tāmaki Makaurau.

Spoken Walls is what happens when the voices of our rangatahi are given a platform to speak. In this case, the platform is a series of Phantom frames. In a unique collaboration with Auckland Arts Festival, we’re bringing you words of passionate, talented young writers.

Look out for their concrete korero in the Phantom frames opposite the Auckland central library in Lorne Street and other frames across the city from 10 March 2022.

We asked the Festival’s Artistic Director Shona McCullagh to tell us what Spoken Walls is all about:

Shona, what inspired you to set up this collaboration?

“I saw one of Phantom founder Jim Wilson’s poem poster social media posts and I liked the way it brought the power of the word to new audiences. When you stumble on a poem in a public place, it’s a kind of silent activism. I wondered if we could do something similar, but with young, unknown writers in our city.

“So I got in touch with Phantom and took it from there.”

How did you find the writers whose words are featured?

“We worked with Action Education, which is an arts-based youth development organisation that uses spoken word poetry to engage young people. They got in touch with schools and ran workshops around the region. We wanted diverse voices, and we found 14 young poets from different high schools and communities.”

What topics are they tackling?

“Their words are their own but the common concept that unites them is the Festival theme of Truth. We wanted to hear their truth, bearing in mind the huge pressure young people are under these days. They’re dealing with multiple revolutions, and their voices aren’t always being heard. By putting their words, their truth, in Phantom frames, we can help young people connect, reflect and express their stories.”

Why street posters?

“Phantom shares our passion for the arts to be seen and heard. They share our belief that there’s something uniquely powerful about art in public spaces, where people from all walks of life can stumble upon it.”

Look out for Spoken Walls: A City In Verse during the Auckland Arts Festival. Poems will be popping up around town from 10 March 2022. Check out the poems here

Do you have a message for the street or a campaign you’d like to share? Call 0800 PHANTOM (0800 742686) or have a word with our arts specialist, Anton, on anton@0800phantom.co.nz

Raise a flag, raise funds for Ukraine

Show your true colours

Stunned by the news coming out of Ukraine? Us too.

We were wondering what we could possibly do to help when this campaign from Colenso BBDO, BBDO NY and OMD came along. We’re getting behind it, and you might do the same.

The idea is simple: We Are All Ukrainian. To show solidarity, people around the world can switch the colours of their national flags to Ukrainian blue and yellow. Then post your flag on social media, make it your profile pic and include it in your email signature. Let’s turn the internet blue and yellow.

The campaign is sponsored by Crown Agents, who have been supplying medicines and medical equipment to Ukraine for 25 years. They are literally on the front line, providing aid and setting up systems at a refugee camp. You can donate through the Flags For Ukraine website and your money will support their humanitarian work. 

Do it now.

Creativity as a force for good

We love how the creative team of Maria Devereux, Lance Vining and Gary du Toit of Colenso BBDO and BBDO NY have come together to help the people of Ukraine. Ian Malcolmsen of Crown Agents is another friend (and a fellow Kiwi) who is playing a vital role. We can all show our solidarity – and send some vital dollars – to support this great cause.

Here at Phantom Billstickers we’re running this campaign pro bono in our frames. So if you see it out on the street you know what to do.

But you saw it here first.

Got a creative idea that deserves exposure? Place it in our frames and reach everyday Kiwis at street level. Call 0800 PHANTOM or email kirsten@0800phantom.co.nz to find out how Phantom can make a difference

Is this your next holiday?

Phantom reached the unaware so Motueka could sell its wares

The sun shines a lot in the Motueka region. As well as an enviable climate, it boasts golden beaches, vineyards, a great Sunday market and three national parks. It’s a brilliant place for a break.

There’s just one issue. People from outside the region didn’t really think of it as a holiday hotspot. 

The team behind Love Motueka decided to change that. 

They put in a call to Phantom Billstickers.

We worked hard to sell relaxation

Love Motueka used Phantom posters in Wellington and Christchurch to promote the beauty of their region. Striking design and informative copy planted the idea of a Motueka holiday.

We had posters popping up all over Wellington and Christchurch, reaching busy commuters and harried shoppers. The campaign was cunningly booked for a fortnight leading up to summer, to catch urbanites who were pondering their next holiday. 

Posters + a website = the perfect promotion

With this campaign, Phantom delivered impact on the street and pointed towards the Love Motueka website. A whole lot of people then decided to sample the delights of this overlooked region. Mission accomplished. 

Paste plus pixels. It’s a powerful and cost-effective way to put a new holiday destination on the map.