13 April 2004

National Poetry Week -- advance notice

National Poetry Week 2004 will take place between September 4-11.


National Poetry Week has continued to grow since its inception in 2002 and this year's activities will continue to foster imaginative partnerships between poets and their communities / audiences. Since the pilot programme initiated in 2002 on a relatively short timeline and with no funding, NPW proved to be a success with poems exhibited on parking meters in Surfers Paradise (home of the Meter Maids), poetry on the buses and ferries around Brisbane, readings on the edges of the surf at Burleigh Heads, poems chalked onto the pavements of Mount Tambourine, a series of readings in historic Ayers House in South Australia, poems between the grapevines in a vineyard in NSW, trees planted with poems in Melbourne, poems on take-away food containers, as well as the great poetic invasion of clubs, pubs and community centres that took place. We managed to get poetry into newspapers, onto radio and onto the television news.

Readings were also held in traditional venues such as libraries cafes and art galleries. 2003 also saw NPW launch its international cousin, the 'Notes to a Stranger Festival' which involved poetry books being left in public spaces with a note to a stranger written in the front cover. Poetry books found their way into Native American communities, on the windscreens of police cars, on the cosmetic counters of Department stores, park benches and lots of other interesting places. This year Notes to A Stranger will also co-incide with NPW.


Join in the fun, anarchy and sheer celebration of all things poetic, by organising a reading, an event or any other surprising installation of poetry in public spaces. NPW 2004 is looking for people with originality, commitment and inventiveness who can organise interesting events, readings, workshops or exhibitions along a set of ideas. Themes and surfaces are the prompts for this year's event.

Themes and surfaces for 2004:
Gates, Doors and Sheds
The Self, the Community and the Scar; healing wounds.
Word Salad; poetry, madness and mystery
Bones, fossils and maps
Piercing Lines; poetry and body art
Open House; choose your own theme and/or surface
Outsiders and Outsides

The first weekend of National Poetry Week will coincide with the Australian Poetry Festival, organised by the Poets Union. If you would like to part of the festival on an outreach basis, visit the Poet's Union site at http://www.poetsunion.com/

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Jayne Fenton Keane
Director National Poetry Week

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