The Hot Spot Poetry Tour’s Auckland finale – a little photo album

A great audience and lots of authors, schools, teachers, librarians and children turned up to celebrate children’s poetry and my two new books at the National Library in Parnell. Lots of new poems penned by children on the Our Place theme and some great performances by children of the poems in the books. I wish I had got these on video so I could put links to them on my blog and so the authors could see what children did with their poems. Richmond Road: I loved the wind and leaves in Apirana Taylor’s ‘Huri Huri’ swirling about the stage and the animals popping up for my ‘When I am Cold Poem.’ Really sad Seba couldn’t be there to see how wonderful her students were.

I also loved the clear, confident voices ringing out from the Cornwall Park students all in costume (Fiona Farrell missed out on hearing her ‘Once a Little Kiwi Fruit’ and Joy Cowley on hearing ‘Tree Cat.’). Magnificent.

And everyone loved the girls from St Kentigern’s and their breathtaking performance of two very-hard-to-say poems: my poem ‘Tui’ (also known as ‘The Gargle Bird’)  and Sarah Aileen’s ‘The Pumperknickle Pirate.’ These were almost song and almost dance and brought the poems alive in such a tremendous way.

Lots of terrific Our Place poems from Gladstone School, Royal Oak Primary School and Westmere School. I especially loved the poems about grandparents’ homes and what favourite places they are. I was so moved to hear all the poems. Just wonderful.

It has been fascinating to see which poems the authors pick to read as it has always been different. Great renditions from Courtney Sina Meredith, John Parker, Tamsin Flynn, Tessa Duder, Siobhan Harvey, Claire Gummer, Melinda Szymanik and Elena de Roo (as well as their own poems).

Very special to hear the students with poems in the Treasury read too: Charley, Sofia, Eden and Anne-Marie. You did so well. I was so proud of you all. I read Luke’s poem as he couldn’t make it.

The National Library had made displays of poetry books north, south, east and west! Fabulous touch!

I have spent the last few days in a bit of zombie state after my fabulous time on the road (and in the air) but what a great way to finish it. Such a lovely atmosphere.

Thanks to you all! Thanks to the National Library for hosting this event and Elizabeth Jones for taking these photos. (I love the Margaret Mahy chair to read in!) Some more at the end taken by Catriona Ferguson on my phone. Thanks.

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The ribbon! There are three!

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