About National Poetry Day
NZ Poet Laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh performing at 'Poets Live on Campus!' Auckland, National Poetry Day 2017.

About National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day was established in 1997. A one-day national poetry event extravaganza, it is held on the fourth Friday of August each year.

From seasoned poets, to total newbies, to the simply-a-bit-curious, participants in Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2018 — on Friday, 24 August — will have the opportunity to be touched by the magic and excitement of poetry, to get involved in the poetry community, and to discover New Zealand poets, share poems and explore and experience what poetry is all about.

Last year was our twentieth anniversary, and to celebrate we had the highest recorded number of events well over one hundred. These were organised by poetry-loving volunteers and involved thousands of people in more than thirty towns and cities all over the country. There were a number of great competitions leading up to and after Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day — some nationwide, others region-specific. We also published our incredible anniversary 20/20 Collection which celebrates the current range and diversity of New Zealand's poetry and poets.

  • Registrations for the official 2018 Calendar of Events opened 8 March and closed 23 May. The 2018 National Calendar will launch 1 August. For 2018 competitions currently open for submissions see here.
  • View last year's events programme for an idea of what fantastic activities unleashed the power of poetry near you.
  • Click here to find out how to run an event.


Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day is governed by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust.

The national administrator is Harley Hern.