Avid poets of the Far North now have a place to exercise their talent.

Ellen Rhodes and Vivian Thonger are passionate poets wanting to bring together the wordsmiths of the Far North for open mic nights in Kerikeri.

Ms Rhodes said the idea came about when they recognised the lack of "platform for local poets to meet to share and discuss their work" in the Far North.

Their inspiration came from other poetry nights they had been a part of.

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Ms Rhodes and Ms Thonger are both long-time poetry enthusiasts - Ms Rhodes has been "filling notebooks with poems" for as long as she can remember and Ms Thonger is a strong figure in the Northland literary scene.

They hope to bring together the talent of the Far North to experience the "magic that happens when wordsmiths share work that resonates with others in the room".

The monthly get-together is not a serious commitment, just "good fun" Ms Rhodes said.
All are welcome to come along and share their poetry or listen to others.

Ms Rhodes said it was great to see different generations' interpretation of what poetry is.

"Younger generations are a bit more animated, like spoken word. In the new year [we] are hoping to partner with local high schools to encourage young people to express themselves through poetry and build skills and confidence in performing and writing".

The first poetry night was in early December last year. It had a great turnout and Ms Thonger said it was a "definite success".

Ms Rhodes and Ms Thonger would love to see more Northlanders turn up and give it a go.
The night is suitable for teenagers and adults alike and is about celebrating the poetry each individual can share.

The poetry nights will resume on February 7 at 7pm at Cherry Park House in Kerikeri. They will continue monthly on the first Wednesday of every month.

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