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Poetry Posters

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Tayi Tibble Q & A

“There are actually so many dope poets in New Zealand it’s literally disproportionate as well as a national mystery”

Why do you think poetry is so hot right now?

Because Megan Thee Stallion declared 2019 the year of the hot girl summer and Gigi and Bella Hadid were recently seen accessorizing their hot fits with Stephen King paperbacks. Also because poets have iphones now instead of typewriters which means we can also get on instagram and twitter, and share each other’s work dotted with cute emojis between re-tweets of Kim Kardashian’s face like it’s popular, and then it becomes popular, because life imitates art. 

We grow up with poetry in our lives. How does poetry shape us?

I think it shapes most people to hate poetry because Byron, Tennyson, Whitman are alienating and irrelevant to the modern skux, unless you’re a nerd born with bookish predisposition like me. I was a lucky nerd tho, I encountered Hone Tuwhare and Apirana Taylor poems in Intermediate school which certainly shaped me, as I discovered that there were at least two indigenous voices in poetry and New Zealand Literature. Young and ignorant and naive as I was then I thought, perhaps I could be the third. 

Tayi Tibble by Ebony Lamb photography

How can poetry break its ‘hierarchical chains’ and reach new communities?

I reckon instead of supporting me to write a follow up book, CNZ should finesse me an artist development deal with a major record label and a sick producer like, Timberland or Charli XCX and then I’ll make some dirty south(ern hempisphere) trap-poetry with bars like ‘before you try and come for me/open a book and learn to read/ because I’m literary e hoa!” which will break records as well as hierarchical chains, reaching new communities by way of making something that lil skuxes can whip to.   

Who are some NZ poets you think more people should be reading?

There are actually so many dope poets in New Zealand it’s literally disproportionate as well as a national mystery but the poets who consistently keep me in a creative state of productive jealousy include Hana Pera Aoake and Talia Marshall.

Helen Heath Q & A

” …I want people to feel they are not alone.”

Why do you think poetry is so hot right now?

Is poetry ever hot? Haha, I always feel like Poetry is the emo cousin hiding in the corner while Fiction is the cool kid in the room. I guess Hera Lindsay Bird is one reason and platforms like Instagram and Youtube along with slam events are another. It is certainly easier to find ‘your people’ now on the internet than it was in Lower Hutt in the 80s, for example.

We grow up with poetry in our lives. How does poetry shape us?

It’s something many people turn to at significant moments in their lives, such as weddings or funerals. However, I think many people feel like poetry is some kind of cruel trick that English teachers taunted them with at school. My hope is that people can get past that and find personal resonance and meaning or just humour and delight. Mostly I want people to feel they are not alone.

Helen Heath by Victoria Birkinshaw 2018

How can poetry break its ‘hierarchical chains’ and reach new communities?

I don’t think poetry has really had ‘hierarchical chains’ for a long time. It just gets bad press from people who hated poetry in school. 

Who are some NZ poets you think more people should be reading?

Maria McMillan, Helen Lehndorf, Helen Rickerby and Vana Manasiades are great – have a read!

Therese Lloyd Q & A

“Poetry has a magic and heft to it that other writing doesn’t.”

Why do you think poetry is so hot right now?

At the moment, the major university presses and some of the smaller presses are doing a brilliant job of publishing fresh and dynamic work. It seems like there’s more risk taking amongst both poets and publishers and that definitely makes for exciting reading!

We grow up with poetry in our lives. How does poetry shape us?

There’s a reason people always want poems read at weddings and funerals. Even people who never read poetry have a need for it. Poetry has a magic and heft to it that other writing doesn’t. For me, I think I was shaped by poetry sonically before anything else. The rhythms and sounds of words were what drew me to poetry when I was young, even before the content.

Therese Lloyd by Grant Maiden 2017

How can poetry break its ‘hierarchical chains’ and reach new communities?

I think it’s kind of funny that poetry is still so often perceived as fiction’s difficult, awkward cousin. Poets all know that that’s not the case of course, but old ideas take a long time to shift. I wonder if those hierarchical chains are symptomatic of bigger issues? I blame capitalism. There you go, smash capitalism, that’s the answer!

Who are some NZ poets you think more people should be reading?

Tracey Slaughter, Michael Steven, Stephanie Christie, Anahera Gildea, Amy Brown.

Erik Kennedy Q & A

“…people are realising that our frantic-paced, growth-obsessed, world-destroying capitalist society is failing to nurture us, and poetry allows us to slow down, reassess, and repair.”

Why do you think poetry is so hot right now?

I like to think that poetry is having a moment now because people are realising that our frantic-paced, growth-obsessed, world-destroying capitalist society is failing to nurture us, and poetry allows us to slow down, reassess, and repair. (But maybe people just like stuff that sounds good and poets are far better at performing their work than they used to be. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

We grow up with poetry in our lives. How does poetry shape us?

Poetry shapes us to the degree to which we let it. We soften ourselves to take its impression. This process of self-softening, this plasticity, is probably more important (from an individual’s perspective) than poetry itself.

Eric Kennedy Web by Victoria Birkenshaw 2018

How can poetry break its ‘hierarchical chains’ and reach new communities?

I suspect that there will always be artistic hierarchies, not least because ‘outsiders’ exclude too when they start to attain influence. The key is to have multiple centres of activity, multiple modes of practice, and poets who actually read each other even if they’re not friends. In the context of this country’s poetry, I think the literary culture would have to be a lot less Wellington-centric than it is now if the existing hierarchies were to be truly challenged.

Who are some NZ poets you think more people should be reading?

I’ll just unleash some names. Lynley Edmeades. James Norcliffe. Nick Ascroft. Paula Harris. David Gregory. I don’t think enough people read Ashleigh Young as a poet (she’s obviously read by all and sundry as an essayist). I’ve liked every Freya Daly Sadgrove poem I’ve read, and I assume that a collection will be materialising sometime in the future. And read Rebecca Nash’s new stuff (or hear it live if it’s not published yet)!

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day Announcement

Phantom Billstickers has announced a partnership with the NZ Book Awards Trust to promote National Poetry Day – the biggest nationwide poetry event of the year.

The 19th National Poetry Day will now be known as Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day and will continue to bring poetry to the people, with over 80 events held nationwide, involving everyone from seasoned award winners to aspiring poets facing the microphone for the first time.

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day will be held on Friday 26 August, continuing the legacy of taking poetry to the people from Kerikeri to Southland, across the streets of small towns and major cities.

“It’s an opportunity to hear more poetry – there’s the possibility to take it back to the regions that built us,” says Jim Wilson, owner of Phantom.

“We’ve been putting the New Zealand voice out there for some time. Now with this exciting partnership, that voice will become louder.”

He says Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day is about discovery, diversity, community and pushing boundaries. Poetry enthusiasts generate events such as slams, poetry-music jams, poetry art exhibitions, performance poetry, poetry and dance, poetry street chalking, bookshop and library readings, open mic events and poetry writing competitions.

Nicola Legat, chair of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, said: “We have long admired Phantom’s commitment to putting poems on posters and in cafes via their Café Reader. They are a natural partner given that Phantom’s business is taking messages to the streets and that’s what the New Zealand Book Awards Trust aspires to do with poetry.”

About The New Zealand Book Awards Trust
This was established as a charitable trust in 2014 to govern and manage the country’s two major literary awards and National Poetry Day, and to ensure their longevity and credibility. New sponsorship agreements have now been secured for all three properties with Ockham supporting the Book Awards, Hell Pizza backing the Children’s and Young Adult awards via its support of the Reading Challenge and Children’s Choice programmes, and Phantom National Poetry Day. Additional funders include The Acorn Foundation, Book Tokens Ltd, Creative NZ, Copyright Licensing Ltd, the Fernyhough Education Foundation, Nielsen and Wellington City Council, supporting specific aspects of the properties.

http://www.nzbookawards.nz/national-poetry-day/

 

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