Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day prepares for its most thrilling year yet!

Aotearoa’s beloved one-day countrywide celebration of poetry is back for its 26th year, and it’s gearing up to deliver an extraordinary array of events that promise to soothe, delight and uplift the nation on Friday 25 August.

Last year's 25th anniversary of Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day was a resounding success, with over 170 events bringing the magic of in-person poetry to an audience of thousands.

This year, the excitement is building up once more, with an amazing lineup on offer in the days leading up to and on 25 August. Revealing the 2023 events calendar today, poet and New Zealand Book Awards Trust spokesperson Richard Pamatatau says “We've been actively encouraging promoters to discover the numerous ways poets and poetry can bring solace and inspiration to their planned activities. It's truly delightful to witness the surge of energy and vitality returning to this day post-pandemic, through the multitude of events being organised!"

Poetry will pop up in churches, bookshops, libraries and out on the streets. There will be poetry through music, poets sharing an open mic, book launches, poetry walks and so much more.

A cherished and integral element of the annual poetry celebration is the competition calendar, providing passionate poets with the opportunity to set their verses free into the world. Creative event organisers have curated an array of delightful challenges in the lead up to Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day this year, featuring an inaugural competition for adults who write poetry for children, presented by The Poets XYZ; Massey University Press return with their ever-popular Poetry Aotearoa Yearbook Student Poetry Competition, judged by poet and Yearbook editor Tracey Slaughter; and the well-loved Given Words competition will this year be in collaboration with students in Andalusia, Spain.

Robin McDonnell, CEO of steadfast Poetry Day sponsor Phantom Billstickers is proud o fthe company's deep admiration for poetry and its continuous commitment to sharing it on billstickers for more than 20 years. Drawing from the persona lexperience of the company's founder, Jim Wilson, who witnessed the therapeutic power of poetry during the early 2000s, McDonnell strongly believes in its enduring significance in aiding the nation's recovery after a challenging few years. “It was a logical step for Phantom to start sponsoring National Poetry Day,” says Robin. “Every year we get an incredible buzz from seeing poets reach new audiences simply through the power of their words.”