It's National Poetry Day tomorrow

New Zealand throws itself into the arms of bards tomorrow; it's National Poetry Day!

Now in its 15th year, National Poetry Day sees poets - both fledgling and award-winning - take to the streets, cafes, auditoriums and class rooms all over the country to read, rap, dance and sing.

The breadth and diversity of this year's National Poetry Day performances are cause for celebration says event organiser and published poet, Siobhan Harvey.

"More than ever before the shows are interactive and visual, and there are some truly creative events using multi-media.

"There's something for everyone. National Poetry Day isn't just for established poets; it's also for people who simply want to give poetry a go. So if you harbour a desire to perform a piece of your own, this is the day to throw caution to the wind."

Audiences can enjoy performances from well known poets such as Poet Laureate - Ian Wedde, Bill Manhire, Stephanie Johnson and Michele Leggott in addition to their own local poetry heroes.

A few of National Poetry Day's highlights this year are:

Auckland - Howick. Uxbridge Creative Centre. Korero Exhibition: bringing poetry and art together. From Friday 13th July. An exhibition of 18 artworks produced in response to 18 poems. Free.

Auckland - Newmarket. Chalking Newmarket. Noon - 1pm, Friday 27th July 2012 Station Square. An opportunity for poets, known and unknown to write their poetry on the paving of the square. Free.

Auckland - Eden Terrace. Art Hotel. 7 p.m. onwards, Friday 27th July at Split/fountain, 3C/ 23 Dundonald Street. A collaboration between poet and writer Wystan Curnow and architect Dino Chai, Art Hotel explores phenomenology, memory and the poetics of space. Curnow will present a poetry reading within an installation by Chai designed especially to stage the event.

Katikati. Having Fun with Poetry visits local primary schools getting children involved with different forms of poetry. Friday 27 July. Omokaroa Point School 10.30 -11.30am, Matahui Road School 1.30 - 2.30pm.

Tauranga. Loose Canons. 6.30 p.m. onwards, Friday 27th July, No 1 The Strand. Marcel Currin, Shona-Ellen Barnett, Owen Bullock readings and open mike night.

Taupo. Poetry Day with Vivienne Plumb. Friday 27th July. Midday - 1.30 pm: Taupo Postshop Readings, Postshop, Horomatangi Street. A free event featuring Vivienne Plumb reading from her work, along with readings by members of the Live Poets Group.

Hawke's Bay. Live Poets Society's Live Poetry Readings. Taradale Senior Citizens Lounge, off White Street. 11.15am - Midday, Friday 27th July. Four Hawke's Bay poets: Ian McQuillan, Dorothy Wharehoka, Fraser Duncan and Laura Morris will read their work.

Palmerston North. Poetry Picnic Lunch. Midday onwards, Friday 27th July, 2012. Ground Floor, Palmerston North City Library. A picnic lunch with invited poets reading, food and food related poetry. Free.

Upper Hutt. An evening with New Zealand's Poet Laureate, Ian Wedde. 6.30 pm - 8.30 pm, Friday 27th July, Rotary Lounge, Upper Hutt City Library.

Wellington. Capital Poetry Marathon. 9am - 5pm, 27th July. Bucket Fountain, Cuba Mall. Eight hours of non-stop poetry - YOU, the public are the stars. Just turn up with your poems and perform! It's FREE to watch and FREE to perform.

Nelson. Poetry Afternoon Tea. Friday 27th July. Page & Blackmore Booksellers, 254 Trafalgar Street. Have afternoon tea with us, and read your favourite poem. Poems can be old, new, borrowed or your own. Open mic session - all welcome.

Greymouth. Poems for all Seasons. 6.00 pm - 8.00 pm, Friday 27th July Grey District Library. A community poetry reading featuring original 'Seasons' poems by West Coasters. Free

Christchurch. Poets Respond to the Quake. 12.30 - 1.30 p.m. Friday 27th July Canterbury University Bookshop. Participants are invited to submit a poem of between 10 and 20 lines on the theme My Quake Nightmare. Entries dropped off in person or posted into UBS Canterbury by 20th July. There will be 10 winners. The first 5 win $50 book vouchers and the next 5 each win a copy of Shaken Down 6.3. The winners of the poetry competition will be invited to read their poems at a Poets Respond to the Quake event.

Dunedin. Poetry Portal. 6.30 p.m. - 8.00 p.m., Friday 27th July. Port Chalmers Library. Enjoy a glass of wine and nibbles in the company of six Dunedin poets. MC - Emma Neale.

For a full list of National Poetry Day events go to www.nzpostbookawards.co.nz.

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