As 2020 enters its final phase, Phantom has curated a selection of original works by Becky Woodall, Eamonn Tee, Simon Sweetman, Ruby Porter, Steve Thomas and David Eggleton. Diverse in their form and inspiration, these poems continue the Phantom tradition of giving street denizens some nourishing food for thought.
Poet and editor David Eggleton has no doubt poetry belongs on posters – in fact, he thinks it’s the perfect antidote for 2020’s woes:
“Why does poetry belong on posters? Because it’s about keeping calm and carrying on, with a song in your heart and a smile on your face, while sliding on someone’s dropped banana skin towards that promised land of milk and honey where Covid-19 has no dominion.”
With their stark black and white typography, Phantom’s latest poem posters are sure to stand out. Keep an eye out for them on a street near you.
There’s no money in it, so why does Phantom Billstickers print poems?
Putting up posters every week is a business model. But the pioneers of professional street poster campaigns, Phantom Billstickers have been providing free space in their poster frames for New Zealand poets for over 15 years. What gives?
Phantom’s CEO, Robin McDonnell, says the company feels a responsibility to think bigger than next week’s marketing budget.
“We started out with posters to promote acts like Dave Dobbyn and the NZ Ballet. We wanted to create an audience for their creativity, so we took to the streets and let people know. It’s the same with poetry,” McDonnell said.
There’s also the desire to show the world what New Zealanders are capable of.
Today Palmerston North, tomorrow Paris.
As well as posting poems in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and other locations around Aotearoa, Phantom Billstickers have been taking Kiwi creativity to a worldwide audience.
A network of sympathisers and enthusiasts around the world have taken to the streets to share the works of our poets. The words of Janet Frame, James K. Baxter and many others have appeared in St. Petersburg, Paris, London, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Honolulu, Rarotonga and Melbourne over the last few years.
As a result, Phantom’s poem posters regularly attract likes and feedback from people in locations far from these islands. Nothing is being sold – but something is being gained.
It’s all ‘flora for the concrete jungle’ as the Phantom mantra has it.