Welcome!  Every August we celebrate National Poetry Day in New Zealand.  For the past two years the Living Room of the City (that’s us – Palmerston North Libraries and Community Services) have been working hard to showcase our diverse local poetry culture.  This year was no exception.  All of our planned initiatives, which were totally dependent on community involvement, made it across the finish line, in time for National Poetry Day on 28 August 2015. 

KUPU is an experiment to give people the chance to showcase their talents. Manawatu has talented poets in abundance. Poetrybeyondwords.org is at the heart of KUPU 2015 to create a || view || share || publish || initiative.  It’s our way of collecting work that you want to share.  You write it – we collect and showcase it.  Simple!   

We set ourselves the target to find 405 proverbs and pieces of poetry to work with.  We got to a critical point with 230 submissions (around mid-August), when we were able to give all our Showcase Ideas the green light.  By the time the programme concluded we had reached 250 submissions.

Our first effort into e-publishing has been released into the digital world.  Ten works were selected from forty submissions for the poetry anthology ‘catch and release:  Poems from Manawatῡ’ in e-book format.  The the result is a lovely mix of known, and previously unpublished poets whose combined work presents an original creative take on Manawatῡ’ - the expression of the connection between heart and place.  The design of the book sought to capture this.  The cover image of nine rings spilling out from a central heart and off the page represent each of the nine contributing poets, and the purpose of KUPU, which is to release poetry from the confines of the page.

We also co-opted National Geographic, and Te Manawa Museum to develop 'Poet's Station' - an opportunity to write poetry to '50 Greatest Photographs' - a stunning exhibition, which opened at Te Manawa Art Gallery on 8 August 2015.   People are invited to respond to these timeless images in poetic form, and post them on their photograph of choice in 'Poet's Station'.  This initiative will continue until the conclusion of the exhibition in November 2015. 

It's been a busy year!

  1. Two new wall installations are in place in the laneway alongside the Central Library in Palmerston North.  Visit 'Spring' by Tim Upperton, and 'Miss Dust decides to have a baby' by Johanna Aitchison
  2. The six brave poets and creative writers participating in 'Poets Under Pressure' produced nine stunning original pieces of work in less than ten minutes, in response to National Geographic's '50 Greatest Photographs'.  We've now also got a great format for future collaborations and content creation activities
  3. The poetry writing workshops by poet and creative writer Helen Lehndorf were very well received by participants seeking to develop their craft in short poetry writing
  4. Palmerston North Girls High School Choirs - A Capella, Urbane Poetry Project, and Duodecan presented a superb lunch time concert of recital, and poetry set to music in the Central Library
  5. Our poetry e-publishing 'career' is under way!
  6. We received more than enough material to stage Showcase Ideas Receipted by Poetry, Wisdom Lounge, and Seeing Through Bricks
  7. and the list goes on....

The feedback has been flowing in, and there are no shortage of ideas coming forth for next year's initiatives. 

Thank yous are in order to:

  1. the community and poets alike for embracing the opportunity to participate in the continuing story of local poetry culture, and for motivating us to keep moving forward
  2. our 2015 collaborators - Te Manawa Art Gallery, National Geographic, and Palmerston North Girls High School
  3. the DIAMONDS - thanks for letting us use your work, and for your continuing support
  4. Palmerston North City Council for support and enabling the continuation of arts and culture programmes such as KUPU
  5. everyone who has contributed time, energy and resources to give this programme every chance of success

Thinking about next year...

Genny and Janet


Slider image credits: Slide one and two - National Geographic

Check out our local talent!

Here we profile some of our KUPU 2015 contributors. If you'd like to be selected to be featured on our site, submit your work here.