National Poetry Day

Journalists mark National Poetry Day with a reading from Allen Curnow’s once-famous ‘Whim Wham’

Wellington-based online news agency NewsRoom_Plus has chipped into National Poetry Day by recording a reading of two satirical and whimsical newspaper verses from the days of ‘Whim Wham’.
“What better way to celebrate the joy of the written and spoken word – the real essence of poetry – than by recalling the marathon efforts of Allen Curnow to marry the poetic form with every day news events,” says NewsRoom_Plus journalist Stephen Olsen.

National Poetry Day 2015: Discovery, connection, community and pushing boundaries

Article by Rachel O’Neill
I write and read poetry, yet what is it exactly? The more I try to define it, the more its boundaries blur and morph. What does poetry, this living art form, say about how we experience the world? The fact that poetry magnificently shifts and shapes itself with us is a big part of what National Poetry Day celebrates and champions every year. 

The Bards Go Wild: 80 Fantastic Events for National Poetry Day, Friday, 28 August

From seasoned award-winners to newbies facing a microphone for the first time, National Poetry Day  Friday, 28 August  unleashes the power and excitement of poetry for one incredible day of activity all around New Zealand. 

New site for National Poetry Day

The highly popular and eclectic National Poetry Day will be staged for its 18th year on 28 August 2015. A varied programme of events around the country will celebrate poetry in its many forms and engage with writers and readers at all levels.

Please note that due to National Poetry Day no longer being part of the New Zealand Book Awards, we have set up a new blog on which you can find everything you need to know about National Poetry Day 2015. This blog can be found here: 


National Poetry Day 2014

We saw a huge programme of events in 2014, thanks to our coordinator Miriam Barr, and the event-organising poetry-loving volunteers from all over the country.

With events stretching from Peria Valley in the Far North all the way down to Gore and across to Wanaka, with 48 coordinators organising over 60 different events and activities, we saw over 7,300 people head to their local maraes, vinyards or bookstores to celebrate poetry on Friday 22 August. See what went on by clicking on your region below. Alternatively, upload the printable entire events programme here

There were also loads of great competitions for you to enter in the lead-up to Poetry Day, some nationwide, others region-specific. 

Northland Thames
Central North Island

Announcing our new National Poetry Day Coordinator Miriam Barr

We are excited to announce Miriam Barr will be the National Poetry Day Coordinator for 2014.

Miriam Barr is an Auckland-based poet from the Far North with a background in psychology and community development.

Her poems have been published in Landfall, Takahe, Brief, Poetry NZ, JAAM, 4th Floor, Blackmail Press, Enamel, Wild Goose Poetry Review (USA), Potroast and REM Magazine. She has been a Poetry Idol slam champion (2007), creative director of The Literatti, a Poetry Live coordinator and editor of Side Stream, a bi-monthly poetry zine that was distributed for free in unexpected places by a network of poets from Kaitaia to Berlin.

National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day is a New Zealand-wide celebration of poetry and runs in conjunction with the New Zealand Post Book Awards.

In 2014 National Poetry Day will be held on Friday, 22 August. Events, locations and times will be posted on our Poetry Day events calendar.

If you have any questions about the National Poetry Day, please contact National Poetry Day Co-ordinator Miriam Barr at

For news about Poetry Day, you can link to this page, or the National Poetry Day Facebook page, which also has current information about poetry.