A Phan-tastic Poetry Celebration

Last month’s Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day will go down as one of the most successful and widespread celebrations yet. From government ministers to school children, from Whangārei to Ōtepoti and beyond – even Berlin! – so many people unleashed their passion for poetry on and around 25 August.

Master coordinator and encourager of all the excitement, NPD administrator Erica Stretton, says it’s hard to select highlights from such a fantastic range, but she cites a few examples of events or promotions that ran for the first time in 2024:

  • Aotearoa’s Poet Laureate Chris Tse hosted a booked-out schools’ day that included workshops, zine-making and slam at the National Library in Wellington, as well as the Poet Laureate’s Poetry Quiz.
  • Annelies Judson won the inaugural Drop by Drop Poetry for Children competition organised by The Poets XYZ, and NPD sponsors Phantom Billstickers plastered her poem on posters around the country.
  • Seven Days of Walking captured the minds of many with their daily micro poems or provocations to get out and experience the world, delivered to phones by five respected poets, and which attracted the attention of Breakfast on TV One.
  • Deputy Prime Minster Carmel Sepuloni took to Facebook to remind the nation to ‘celebrate our amazing NZ poets’ and shared the Calendar of Events. Opposition spokesperson for the Arts Simon O’Connor made a valiant attempt at his own (political) poem, and shared details of local NPD events.
  • Bad apple hosted two events in art galleries in Tāmaki Makaurau and Wellington, inviting local LGBTQIA+ poets to read new work that drew inspiration from significant art pieces that had moved them. All the poems read were also made available online at

"This extraordinary nationwide poetry extravaganza keeps expanding year after year, and we're absolutely thrilled to be a part of it," says Robin McDonnell, CEO of the visionary sponsor Phantom Billstickers. "It's a day that's becoming firmly etched into the tapestry of our nation's shared history, and we adore how it unleashes a torrent of creative energy from voices across Aotearoa and beyond."