Devonport Library launches Poetry New Zealand Yearbook with a slam
A poet laureate, authors, literature fans and publishers, all gathered at the Devonport Library to celebrate the 51st launch of Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2017.
A large crowd, a mix of young and old, gathered on the night of March 14 to purchase the book, enjoy some nibbles, and be entertained by live poetry readings.
Professor Michele Leggott, New Zealand's inaugural poet laureate and Devonport resident, was the guest speaker.
Leggott addressed Devonport's longstanding artistic legacy, with great New Zealand poets such as A.R.D. Fairburn having lived a few hundred metres down the road from the library.
The launch also formally announced the Poetry New Zealand competition winners.
Wellington poet Emma Shi, 20, was announced the overall winner and performed her poem live at the launch alongside Auckland poet and second place winner, Devon Webb, 20.
Editor Jack Ross described the winner Emma Shi's poetry as awe-inspiring.
"She appears to be one of the rare people who appears to have been born with a kind of poetic perfect pitch," Ross said.
"Her work is strange, and suggestive, and disturbing,"
Hamilton poet Hayden Pyke came third, but was not able to attend on the night.
Featured poets such as Elizabeth Morton, Lisa Samuels and Bryan Walpert also spoke on the night.
Purchase yearbook from masseypress.ac.nz.