There is a wealth of poetry in Rotorua which will be shared and celebrated next week.

With support from Rotorua Lakes Council, Poetry Bomb is back in 2019 with many events and experiences organised by the Mad Poets and Frank Walker – arts team duo Angela Frank and Jill Walker.

Events include the launch of Poems For All Seasons - an illustrated calendar
including poems by Mad Poets past and present, and young Rotorua poets on August 22.

On the same day at McLeods Booksellers, Nga Kupu o Nga Wahine Words of Women launches the 2019 Word Wall at 5.30pm.

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This open mic event, open to the public, welcomes people to bring their favourite poems by women and to share and celebrate them before the big reveal in the alleyway outside.

Friday, August 23 is the official date for National Poetry Day, and in Rotorua the community can celebrate the launch of local children's author Julie Bella Taua's book, Where oh where can Harawene be? at Atlantis Book Shop.

Harawene was a small black and white terrier cross who lived wild in a paddock overlooking Te Ngae Rd.

She became a silent companion to countless motorists passing by, but was run over in 2008. Funds were raised for a bronze statue which now stands in her favourite spot overlooking Te Ngae Rd.

This children's book is in verse and in memory of Harawene.

Friday also marks the beginning of Poetry in Windows - 10 days of local and pop-up poetry installations in the CBD.

Jill Walker says there will be a diverse range of poems displayed in business windows and on the big screen at Te Aka Mauri.

"The variety of the poems is totally awesome. We've got poems about love, nature, friendship, paying homage to people in Rotorua who have passed on, rhyming ones and some more obscure ones, short and long."

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She says it also includes poets of all ages - from a class of Year 8 John Paul College pupils to senior members of the community.

"We are really excited poetry in Rotorua is definitely alive and well, and wants to be out there."

On August 24, tutor of Creative Writing at Auckland University and esteemed poet, Siobhan Harvey, will headline Folk Jazz Poetry amongst the bookshelves with visiting folk-jazz duo, Tristan Hancock and Hanna Wisakari-Griffiths, who will collaborate musically with local poet Angela Frank.

Also, on August 24, the Rotorua Mad Poets present Rhythm and Rhyme - an evening of local music and poetry performed live at the Social Club.

Musicians include Terry and Millie Locke, Des Parsons, Don Cole, and Eddie Taylor.

Other poetry experiences can be found at the Arts Village Cafe which will be adding giant poetry baskets to their famous typewriter so you can play with words while you eat, wait and caffeinate.

Mad Poets co-president Jackie Evans says this week of events is a wonderful opportunity for people to not only see poets but also take part.

"I think this is an exciting week for poetry... and I hope as many people as possible will come to the events to enjoy this wealth of poetry."

For more information see Poetry Bomb Rotorua on Facebook and Instagram, or creativerotorua.org.
Poetry Bomb 2019 events
- Tuesday August 20, 5.30pm-7pm. ArtsMad. Princes Gate Hotel, koha
- Thursday August 22, 4.30pm, Illustrated Calendar Launch, Te Aka Mauri, gold coin
- Thursday August 22, 5.30pm-6.30pm, Nga Kupu o Nga Wahine Words of Women, McLeods Booksellers, free
- Friday August 23, 4pm, Children's author book launch, Atlantis Book Shop, gold coin
- Saturday August 24, 5pm-6.30pm, Folk Jazz Poetry among the bookshelves, McLeods Booksellers, koha
- Saturday August 24, 7pm, Rhythm and Rhyme, The Social Club, free
- August 19 to September 3, Community Pride Big Screen, Te Aka Mauri
- August 19 August to September 3, Giant Poetry Kitsets, Arts Village Café
- August 23 to September 3, Poetry in Windows and pop-up installations, Rotorua CBD