Creative Kōrero, Literature, Media

Lines and Lyrics: A Celebration of Poets and Songwriters

Interrupted by Covid-19 in 2020, PHANTOM National Poetry Day this year will be celebrated nationwide on Friday 27th August 2021 and Tauranga Writers has been busy putting together Lines and Lyrics: a Celebration of Poets and Songwriters.

Two questions they’re frequently asked: “Why PHANTOM?” That’s easily dealt with. Though it’s organised by the New Zealand Book Award Trust, National Poetry Day has been generously sponsored for the last few years by PHANTOM Billstickers, who’ve been designing and locating street posters and assisting with publicity campaigns for over thirty years.

And the other question is, “What’s happening here in Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty?”

The best person to answer is probably Jenny Argante, who with Dhaivat Mehta of Apex Film Collective and local poet Fiona Sullivan has put together an evening to be co-hosted by Tauranga Writers and Steampunk Tauranga, with popular dignitary and author Buddy Mikaere as MC.

“Poetry on the page is one gateway to great poetry,” Jenny says, “but on this kind of occasion we like to offer a combination of words and music along with performances by Dr Archaeo and Captain Houndstooth of BoP Beat Poets. Both are well-known contributors to local and national poetry slams and are also presently engaged in documenting emerging and established creatives. Fiona Sullivan will be presenting a women’s point of view with wit and empathy and a selection of her poems first published and performed in Australia and the UK.

“We count ourselves fortunate, too, in securing two star performers. Marion Arts and Mana Farrell are well-known as singers, songwriters and musicians and have earned high repute when touring at home and abroad. We think that what these two artistes also share is a keen sense of who they are and where they come from that is expressed in the songs they sing.”

Jenny continues, “It’s going to be a great show in a great venue – Mauao Performing Arts Centre in Totara Street, and because of funding from PHANTOM Billstickers and Creative Bay of Plenty, we’re able to invite the public to join us for a gold coin at the door. After being silenced by the pandemic, performers and participants are hoping for a big turn-out this year.”

The intention for PHANTOM National Poetry Day 2021 is to ‘unleash the power of poetry.’ With this in mind, Tauranga Writers is also running a poetry competition, kindly sponsored by Craniums in Grey Street. You’re invited to ‘free the poet in you’ and entry is also free. You can write about Sport, Monsters, Animals or Ghosts; or, if none of this appeals, send in a nonsense poem on any subject you like. (Rules: rhymed or unrhymed, and no longer than 24 lines!) Email your poems to or drop in at their shop in Grey Street. Closing date is 24th August and there’ll be a prizegiving ceremony at Craniums on Saturday 28th August from 12 noon to 2pm.

While poetry on the page can stir the mind and heart, for many poems work best as spoken words. One local inspiration is Te Kahu Rolleston from Motiti Island, named the best proponent of the form here in Aotearoa. If, like him, you’ve got poems you’d like to share with the audience at Lines and Lyrics, come along early and sign up for open mike on the door.


WHAT: Lines & Lyrics: a Celebration of Poets & Songwriters on National Poetry Day 2021.

WHEN: Friday 27th August 2021 6.30 for a 7pm start.

WHERE: Mauao Performing Arts Centre, 11 Totara Street, Mount Maunganui 3116.

ENTRY: Gold coin only.

For further information, please contact Jenny Argante. Text 028 406 32 40, email You can find more details of PHANTOM National Poetry Day 2021 celebrations throughout New Zealand online here. Tauranga Writers has a Facebook page to keep you up-to-date on PHANTOM National Poetry Week 2021 in Tauranga. Click here to visit.

Creative Kōrero, Literature, Media

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