August 29, 2018 posted by Unity Wellington

AFTERGLOW: National Poetry Day 2018 – Big Weather: Poems of Wellington & National Schools Poetry Award winner

AFTERGLOW: National Poetry Day 2018 – Big Weather: Poems of Wellington & National Schools Poetry Award winner

Friday 24th August was Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2018, a happy occasion which saw Unity Books besieged by poets and readers alike to celebrate the nation’s poetic pedigree. The newly reissued Big Weather: Poems of Wellington was the dish of the day, with a star studded line up of NZ poets in store to read their own poems and their favourite contributions from their fellow poets. Lauded poet Bill Manhire and original publisher of the book Ann Mallinson were on hand to speak about the book and introduce the poets.

The event was crowned by the announcement of the winner of the National Schools Poetry Award 2018. The talented recipient of this year’s award, Ilena Shadbolt, joined the roster of poets to recite her winning poem Vignettes.


Bill Manhire played MC, introducing his fellow poets and contributors to Big Weather.

Stephanie de Montalk read her poem ‘Common Oak, Europe’ and Rachel Bush’s ‘Stopping’.

Dinah Hawken read from Harbour Poems and James McNaughton’s ‘Port’.

David Beach read ‘Windy Day’ and David Eggleton’s ‘I Imagine Wellington as a Delicatessen’.

Ann Mallinson shared her recollections of conceiving and publishing the first edition of Big Weather and read Hone Tuwhare’s ‘Toroa: Albatros’ before introducing the next round of poets.

Diana Bridge read ‘The God of Hills’, Chris Orsman’s ‘Ghost Ships’ and Andrew Johnston’s ‘Old Magnolias’.

James Brown read ‘Suburbs’ and Bill Manhire’s ‘My Lost Youth’.

Kirsten McDougall read ‘The Tuesday Ode’ and James Brown’s ‘Terra Wellington’.

National Schools Poetry Award winner Ilena Shadbolt recited her winning poem ‘Vingettes’.

Authors and readers packed the shop.

Dinah Hawken relives the launch of the first edition of Big Weather while Diana Bridge signs copies of the updated new edition.

Bill Manhire puts signing pen to paper.


Big Weather: Poems Of Wellington is available in store and online now.

Words and pictures by John Duke

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