19 Apr 2010
Giving poetry the street visibility of punk and rock’n roll, Phantom Billstickers is once again launching a new series of poem posters in late April 2010. Placing poems on the walls of cities across New Zealand, the
United States and towns and cities everywhere, the intent is to bring poetry to the attention of the world. This will be Phantom Billstickers fourth run of Poem Posters.
The ten new poems will be launched at a ceremony on the 28th of April at the old Government House, University of Auckland, Princess Street and Waterloo Quadrant, Auckland, New Zealand. The event will take place from 5pm until 7pm. All are welcome.
This time an interesting mix of Kiwi and American poets will be featured.
From Aotearoa (New Zealand):
Chris Knox Well known Kiwi musician, song writer and Beat Mystic.
Bill Manhire New Zealands Man of Letters and five-times winner of the New Zealand Book Awards Poetry Prize.
Tusiata Avia Pacifika performance poet and current Ursula Bethel Writer in Residence at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch.
Stephen Oliver Poet and voice artist, author of fifteen volumes of poetry including the recently publishedcollection Harmonic.
Cilla McQueen Poet and artist, three-time winner of the New Zealand Book Award for poetry and current New Zealand Poet Laureate.
Mariana Isara Rising poetry star and winner of the Heritage Christchurch summer poets competition.
Then from the USA:
Robert Creeley Black Mountain poet of the Charles Olson school and guardian of innovative poets and poetics everywhere.
Gerald Stern Poet Laureate of New Jersey, recipient of the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, US National Book Award winner for poetry and a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
Michael Palma Poet and translator of Dantes ‘Inferno’.
Roy Smith Vital unpublished poet from New Hope, Pennsylvania.
Jim Wilson, the founder of Phantom Billstickers New Zealands poster company, is a keen advocate and committed supporter of poetry and the arts. Jims aim is to take Kiwi arts to the world. He has worked to post streets and cafe walls with poem posters in places like Baltimore, Maryland, Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee and then through to Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. At least a dozen other
American cities are also involved, from those in Mississippi State through to New York City.
Recently volunteers have been enlisted to place poem posters in Boulder, Colorado and Iowa City, Iowa (close to the Iowa Writers Workshop which is arguably the top writers workshop in the States).
The city of Berlin, Germany, is also to be added to the list of destinations to feel the heat, passion and beauty of poem posters on its walls.
New Zealand, one of the poetry and music hearts of the world, first saw Phantom Billstickers poem posters in June 2009. Cities and towns throughout the country enjoy a damn good pasting of poem posters and as top Kiwi poet Stephen Oliver puts it:
"Poem posters are part of the dress code of any city that recommends
itself to its citizens."
You can read about the poetry project on www.0800phantom.co.nz
Jim Wilson currently lives in New Jersey and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the previous three rounds of Poetry Posters, the poets featured have included Janet Frame, Geoff Cochrane, Campbell McKay, Brian Turner, Jackie Steincamp, Bill Direen, Michele Leggott, Sam Hunt, Gary
McCormick, Hilaire Campbell, Jeffery McCaleb, Ben Brown, Michael White, Nicholas Thomas, Tusiata Avia, Pablo Nova, Robert Pinsky, Marcie Sims, Joe Treceno, Lawrence Arabia, Josie McQuail, Jay Clarkson and
The project has met with widespread enthusiasm. It seems everyone understands a poem poster in the streets. Printing poems on posters is largely about hope. In a world of splitting opinions, extreme violence and
never-ending political and commercial intrigue, the aim is to bring Truth and Beauty back into the streets.
This is what has been missing.
These posters and in fact all posters are truly Flora for the Concrete Jungle. The wish is that people partake and celebrate in the creativity of language. The aim is inspirational and uplifting, the presence of poems in
our cities is about re-claiming the world through art.
At the April 28th Launch some of the Phantom Billstickers poets will read and the event will be hosted by celebrated poet and New Zealands inaugural Poet Laureate Michele Leggott. The evening will also feature LOUNGE#13 which is an exciting project run by the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre & The University of Auckland. Local poets including Ben Daniels, Martin Edmond, Paula Green, Greg Zan, Zarah
Butcher McGunnigle, Sacha Norrie, Jack Ross and Sonja Yelich will read.
"The only thing that can save the world is reclaiming the awareness of the world. Thats what poetry does." Allen Ginsberg.