Our poetry Editor, Gill Ward, explains how she dreamt up the idea…
‘Eleven years ago I decided to put bowls of poems around the district in cafes and other willing places, on National Poetry Day, which is supported and sponsored by Phantom Billstickers in Wellington.
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.
The first few years I put the poems in small plastic bowls (the sort you buy for children’s parties or picnics). Then I began to find bowls at op shops.
Last year the tip shop gave me a good deal on bowls. As I didn’t want to get the bowls back this seemed a good idea and more eco friendly than plastic. This year I discovered paper bowls which I was able to decorate as well.
The poems were printed out on paper sheets which, now that scrapbooking has taken over, are available cheaply. I have my own guillotine so am able to cut the poems up into small shapes to fold for the bowls. The most time-consuming part is to find short poems and verses to fit into a reasonable size.
There is a faintly soothing element sitting in front of t.v. folding away and closing them with a tiny piece of adhesive tape so that they can be easily opened. The poetry and verses I use are all either New Zealand poets or well known (to me at least!) international poets.
This year people outside cafes have requested bowls which is rewarding. I have fashioned over 500 little poetry treats. Fifteen bowls full. Hope you like them.’
And more news for Poetry Day from Gill
Poetry has a high profile on the Kapiti Coast — and Poets to The People has been featuring for more than 12 years.
It began in 2006 in Raumati South at the then Lembas Café, with the idea of bringing out well known New Zealand poets once a month to share their poetry in a local venue. It’s not always easy to get into Wellington for all the cultural activities offered in our cultural capital.
Since then, we have had a poet every last Sunday of the month for ten months of the year. An ‘Open Mic’ before the guest poet gives writers a chance to share their own poems with an appreciative audience.
The project is profit free and we have been able to pay our poet and ‘tip’ the café from our modest $5 cover charge. Often we have over 50 people at the High Tide Café at Paraparaumu Beach — a wonderful venue.
We could not ask for a more accommodating and helpful community café in which to share and enjoy poetry. Respect them!