Drop your words into giant origami boat for National Poetry Day competition

Christine Ling

Christine Ling and Margot Sorensen have made a giant paper origami boat which will be set up in the National Library Foyer on 25 August for National Poetry Day.

A sea of words will wash over the National Library on Friday.

A giant paper origami boat - waiting to be filled with words from the public - will anchor in the library's foyer as part of National Poetry Day.

Created by Whitireia graduate diploma in publishing (applied) students Christine Ling and Margot Sorensen, the boat is the centre of a competition aiming to make poetry more accessible.

The boat is part of a competition, inviting people  to submit words related to the sea into it to be in to win dinner ...
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The boat is part of a competition, inviting people to submit words related to the sea into it to be in to win dinner and a cruise onboard a boat in Mana or poetry collections. Christine Ling is pictured with the boat.

The public are invited to drop a word relating to the sea, along with contact details, into the boat. They will receive an instant prize of a biscuit and a poem from one of two new collections of poetry, Keel & Drift by Adrienne Jansen and Everything is Here by Rob Hack and go into the draw to win dinner for two and a cruise on a boat in Mana or copies of these collections. 

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At the end of the day, Jansen and Hack will use all the words to create an entirely new poem that will be posted on Facebook and the Landing Press and Escalator Press websites.

The words submitted into the boat will be turned into a new poem by poets Adrienne Jansen and Rob Hack.  Margot Sorensen ...
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The words submitted into the boat will be turned into a new poem by poets Adrienne Jansen and Rob Hack. Margot Sorensen is pictured with the boat.

Ling and Sorensen came up with the idea to fit Landing Press' nautical theme, and after practising with smaller paper, constructed the giant boat in less than five minutes.

Ling says the competition, part of the 20th annual National Poetry Day, is designed to get people engaged with poetry in a way they wouldn't usually.

Sorensen says it is about bringing poetry out into the open.

"I've got quite a lot of friends that are poets so I feel very much like some people feel poetry is snobby, kind of secluded ... but actually poetry can be about community, reaching out to other people. We're trying to get everybody involved."

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Poet Adrienne Jansen says she has written hundreds of poems, but the one constructed from the public's words will be different to any other.

"We've never before made one poem out of what might be several hundred words so that's going to be a challenge," she says.

"I think it's going to be a lot of fun."

For her, poetry is about "pleasure with words".

"I think it gives people a slightly different way of looking at the world. It makes people just stop and take notice."

* The Sea of Words paper origami boat will be in the National Library of New Zealand foyer, Molesworth St from 10am-4pm on Friday, August 25.

* 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Day. For a full events calender, visit nzbookawards.nz.

 - Stuff

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