Register events to unleash the power of poetry across Aotearoa 25 August

National Poetry Day is scheduled for 25 August 2023, and as its administrators open registrations for events and seed-funding, they are inviting organisers across the motu to join in to unleash the uplifting power of poetry.


Robin McDonnell, CEO of Poetry Day sponsor Phantom Billstickers, says that when company founder Jim Wilson witnessed the healing power of poetry in the early 2000s, he started putting poems on posters to share with others. “It was balm and a joy for him then and still is now, and we’d like to think that it can help the nation heal as we recover from more than three very tough years. Never has poetry been so important for so many reasons,” he says.

Aotearoa’s much-loved one-day nationwide celebration of poetry – now in its 26th year – is gearing up for its biggest and most joyous range of events yet, and is encouraging regional organisers to think about all the ways that poets and poetry can soothe, delight and rejuvenate as they plan their 25 August activities.

In 2022, in the first in-person Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day in three years, more than 150 events were staged across the motu, bringing together established and emerging poets, young writers and voices, and poetry enthusiasts of all ages. They celebrated on beaches and street corners, in old churches, pubs, libraries, universities, museums, hospitals, bookshops, bowling alleys and even in national parks.

NPD’s national coordinator Erica Stretton encourages organisers to register early to access seed-funding, promotional materials, guidance, and to be included in the heavily promoted official calendar of NPD 2023 events.

Interested organisers will find registration documents, templates and a full range of useful planning and promotional resources on the NPD website at

Applications for seed funding close at 5pm on 1 June 2023. The official Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2023 calendar will be announced on 2 August.

For further information contact NPD national coordinator Erica Stretton at and to keep up with plans for NPD 2023, follow NZPoetryDay on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Released on behalf of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust Te Ohu Tiaki i Te Rau Hiringa by:


(Publicist Gill Hughes of Hughes PR will once again run the #NZPoetryDay marketing campaign, from June 2023.)

Editor’s Notes

National Poetry Day was established in 1997 with a mandate to celebrate discovery, diversity, community and pushing boundaries. It is a one-day nationwide poetry event extravaganza held annually on a Friday in late August.

Phantom Billstickers has been assisting New Zealanders to express themselves since 1982. From the very beginning they’ve supported home-grown talent alongside their commercial campaign work, actively promoting New Zealand music, art, poetry and culture through a network that now numbers 6500 framed street posters countrywide.

The New Zealand Book Awards Trust Te Ohu Tiaki i Te Rau Hiringa was established as a charitable trust in 2014 to govern and manage the country’s two major literary awards – The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards and the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults – as well as Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, and to ensure their longevity and credibility.

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