Create a piece of ‘concrete poetry’

By ODT | Posted: Monday July 19, 2021

If a poem creates pictures with words, shape poetry creates words in pictures.

A shape poetry competition, part of the 2021 National Poetry Day celebrations, is proving popular.

Dunedin Public Libraries’ events co-ordinator Kay Mercer said some curious and beautiful entries had been received so far.

The competition asked budding poets of all ages to submit a poem in which the words were laid out in a shape that might support, or add to, the meaning of the poem.

‘‘This form of poetry is often called ‘concrete poetry’ and creates a wider medium for expression.

‘‘I’m really looking forward to being able to announce the winners and present the prizes on National Poetry Day at our Non-Stop Poetic Cabaret evening on Friday August 27,’’ Mrs Mercer said.

The judges of the competition were poets Carolyn McCurdie and Robyn Maree Pickens.

The evening will feature more than a dozen New Zealand poets, as well as Bill Martin’s Jazz Duo.

‘‘There’s even a spot of jamming as poets joust with musicians to create new improvised works on the spot.”

Tickets for the cabaret are available from Dunedin Public Libraries.

The closing date for the competition is tomorrow.

Entries can be submitted via the Dunedin Public Libraries website at

National Poetry Day is an initiative of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust and is sponsored by Phantom Billstickers.

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