Friday was National Poetry Day in New Zealand and it was great. This year I wasn't even envious of my poet-blogger friends reporting events in other cities because Hamilton had a full programme to enjoy.
Having finished installing Punctuated Equilibrium (complete with eponymous poem as the artist's statement) at the Waikato Museum I biked up to Garden Place for the launch of the Phantom Posters poetry poster project. The poster poems were all by various well-known New Zealand and international poets and each poem was read by a local politician or 'personality' before being ceremoniously pasted onto the poster bollard outside the Public Library.
I cheekily took a seat in the front row (no doubt displacing some celebrity) and invited my friend and fellow blogger Joan to join me. I took out my stitching to do as I enjoyed the sunshine and the poems. You can see a photo of me here, stitching as I listened, on her blog, Sempiterna Me... (if you scroll down you'll see she's written another poem about my stitching)
After that I went home for a long nap, in preparation for the next scheduled poetry event, an open mic at the library. I was a 'guest poet' and got to read second in the lineup- I seem to have been promoted in the local poetry hierarchy thanks to publicity about Two Kinds of Time being a finalist in the Rhysling Awards. There was a good turnout of local poets and our supporters.
The highlight of my evening was being awarded first prize ($300 of book vouchers!) in the Wintec Open Poetry Competition. I'd entered my poem, Ponting's Genius, which is now published online here. Richard Swainson, Hamilton's best MC, came up to me afterwards and remonstrated me for appearing to venerate an Australian cricket captain, though of course the poem is actually about Scott's Antarctic photographer.
There is another winner to announce for Bibliophilia's own National Poetry Day competition. Sue, from Wellington was the name drawn completely at random from my fruit bowl! Congratulations Sue, I'm putting your signed book in the post tomorrow.
If you missed out on the giveaway and you would like to buy your own copy of Voyagers, you can buy it through Amazon.com or other online book sellers.