Devonport Library launches Poetry New Zealand Yearbook with a slam

Poet Devon Webb was asked to sign several copies of the book.
LAINE MOGER/FAIRFAX NZ

Poet Devon Webb was asked to sign several copies of the book.

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. 

The audience was treated to live poetry readings, which included political themes, sickness, broken hearts and life ...
LAINE MOGER/FAIRFAX NZ

The audience was treated to live poetry readings, which included political themes, sickness, broken hearts and life guidelines.

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.

READ MORE: Poet ARD Fairburn celebrated alongside 11 talented characters of Devonport's history

The launch also formally announced the Poetry New Zealand competition winners.

Devonport Library hosted the launch of Poetry New Zealand Yearbook's 51st edition.
LAINE MOGER/FAIRFAX NZ

Devonport Library hosted the launch of Poetry New Zealand Yearbook's 51st edition.

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.

The event drew a large crowd from as far down the country as Wellington.
LAINE MOGER/FAIRFAX NZ

The event drew a large crowd from as far down the country as Wellington.

"Her work is strange, and suggestive, and disturbing,"

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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.

Poet Emma Shi was named the winner of the poetry competition by Jack Ross.
LAINE MOGER/FAIRFAX NZ

Poet Emma Shi was named the winner of the poetry competition by Jack Ross.

Purchase yearbook from masseypress.ac.nz.

Editor Jack Ross has been at the helm of the yearbook for three years running.
LAINE MOGER/FAIRFAX NZ

Editor Jack Ross has been at the helm of the yearbook for three years running.

Poet Laureate Michele Leggott was the guest speaker for the event.
LAINE MOGER/FAIRFAX NZ

Poet Laureate Michele Leggott was the guest speaker for the event.

 - Stuff

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