August 2017: Poetry for everyone

We’ve just had National Poetry Day. Landing Press, together with Escalator Press, ran a competition at the National Library, around Keel and Drift and Rob Hack’s collection of poems Everything is here. With a  giant origami boat as the eye-catcher, and a free biscuit and a poem as a bribe, we got 235 entries in a competition. Very easy to enter – just one word about the sea – and you went in the draw to win dinner on a boat, or books.  It was all about making poetry something for everyone. At the end of the day, as well as announcing the winners, 3 of us (Mary-Jane Duffy, Trish Harris, and I) made all those 235 words into a poem – a very long poem – and sent it out to all the entrants, along with names of the winners.

Reading with other poets in Best New Zealand Poems 2016 at Writers on Mondays at Te Papa was also a great way to mark National Poetry Day.

In some other countries, poetry is very much part of everyday life. That’s my idea of what poetry could be.