National poetry Day to be marked locally

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Waitaki poetry lovers are in for a treat when two Dunedin poets talk at the Palmerston Library and Oamaru’s Grainstore Gallery next week.

Poets Kay McKenzie Cooke and Jenny Powell will be touring the region as part of the New Zealand Post Book Awards celebration of National Poetry Day on Friday, August 22.

More than 60 events are being held all around the country to celebrate the day, which is in its 17th year.

National Poetry Day national coordinator Miriam Barr said the variety of this year’s events will appeal to aspiring poetry writers, established poets, those who simply enjoy listening to poetry and those who think poetry isn’t for them.

“Poetry is for everyone and National Poetry Day is too.

“They say every person makes poetry on a daily basis and poets are simply the people who write it down.

“Anyone can start writing it down and anyone can enjoy it.

This year’s National Poetry Day calendar shows how diverse the New Zealand poetry scene is with award-winners and emerging voices joining forces from Kaitaia to Southland, she said.

“You are never too young or old to get involved in poetry. It might not be quite what you expect either.”

Kay McKenzie and Jenny Powell will be talking at the Palmerston Library at 10.30am and the Grainstore Gallery at 6pm on Friday, August 22.

A nationwide poetry phone will also be available where poetry loves can call 09 309 POEM or text 021 474 555 to have a poem read or texted to them, or to be serenaded with song lyrics.