August’s Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day was big news. Nationwide celebrations (around 160 of them) were loud and proud, #NZPoetryDay trended on Facebook and Twitter, and the media responded with enthusiasm.

Aotearoa’s Pasifika and millennial poets were in high demand, with the Weekend Herald making National Poetry Day its Canvas cover story, featuring rising stars Tayi Tibble and Sugar Magnolia Wilson. Courtney Sina Meredith captivated John Campbell and the nation with her powerful and compelling performance on TVNZ 1 Breakfast; Sugar introduced Jeremy Corbett to the joy of poetry for TV Three’s The Project; and RNZ Afternoons’ flash poetry competition, judged by 2019 Ockhams finalist Erik Kennedy, attracted so many entries it almost crashed RNZ’s computer system.

Poetry was written on beaches, sung by toddlers, found on buses and in art galleries, schools, libraries, rest homes, community halls and book shops in over 55 cities, towns and online locations, both nationally and internationally. With something for everyone, the 2019 calendar offered an abundance of activities and opportunities from the numerous community events to the more ambitious performances.

“Participation in events and competitions rose across the board, and the takeaway message from this year’s campaign is that Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day is ‘rocking it in the community’ and people are loving it!” says NPD 2019 Administrator, Jacqui Hammond.

All four of the 2019 Ockhams finalists for the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry were also front and centre in Phantom Billstickers eye-catching, nationwide street poster campaign.