The pouring rain didn’t keep eager poetry lovers from attending the World Poetry Day event at Massey’s Manawatū campus last month.
The event on March 21 was held in the Massey University Students’ Association (MUSA) lounge instead of on concourse as originally planned, with a mix of authors and amateurs reading their own original poetry and some of their favourite work by other writers.
The event was a celebration of all things poetry, from hearing the work of New Zealand poets such as James K Baxter and Hera Lindsay Bird to poems written and performed in German, French and Spanish.
There was a range of themes, some poems of a political persuasion while some took inspiration from heavy metal song lyrics.
Education Officer on the MUSA Executive, Callum Goacher, organised the event.
“World Poetry Day 2018 achieved almost everything I want these poetry events to,” says Goacher.
“I love seeing writers from different areas of life, of different styles, and in different stages of their literary careers, all coming together to share and appreciate each other’s work.”
Goacher said this event was focused on giving student writers, who hadn’t had much previous exposure, a shared stage with established writers such as Airini Beautrais, Johanna Aitchison, and David Merritt, who all attended.
“I think that gives new writers a real sense of inspiration, about where poetry can take you, and lets you see that there are others in your community with similar interests,” he says.
As well as a seated audience, people wandered in with their lunch and enjoyed the poetry during their break.
“Poetry is something that can break up the monotony of a student's average day, and hopefully make it more interesting,” says Goacher.
“It'd be awesome to have more spontaneous poetry performances happening at Massey, to keep campus engaging for students.”