Poetry Box noticeboard: Winter Words – Matariki Children’s Poetry Competition Brief at Mahurangi East Library

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This year for our Matariki poetry competition we want you to write and present on a topic or an aspect of navigation that pertains to either your family, or Aotearoa.

Our Auckland Libraries Regional Matariki theme is:

‘Herea tō waka ki te whetū, kāore ki te titiwai Tie your canoe to a star, not a glow worm.’

The Matariki Constellation above & glow worms below.

(Extra kudos for including the regional theme whakatauaki? I wonder?)


Invited participants:

Snells Beach Primary School, Horizon School
Matakana Primary School, Leigh Primary School, Pakiri School, Mahurangi College, Kip McGrath Students

There is no time to spare as entries must meet the deadline of Sunday June 23rd.

Entries to be emailed in school lots, or independently emailed to: mahueastfriends@gmail.com Attn: Fleur Coleman. By 6pm Sunday 23rd June.

Finalists will be notified by: Close of business Tuesday 25th June and should be prepared to present their work at Mahurangi East Library starting 6.30pm on Wednesday 26th June. All family and friends are welcomed to attend the evening. Refreshments served by the Friends Committee. Your gold coin donation is welcomed.

Our sincere thanks for your continued support of this exciting local library poetry comp where we aim to give your kids an authentic reason to write and present.

Please confirm your school involvement as soon as possible.

Please be sure to understand the brief, please email if you wish to seek further clarification.

Ngā mihi mahana,

Fleur Coleman on behalf of,

The Friends of Mahurangi East Library
‘Winter Words’ &
The staff of Mahurangi East Library.


Kia ora koutou,

Dear Schools, we are writing to encourage your students to take part in our Friends of Mahurangi East Library – Mahurangi Matariki Youth Poetry Competition which is a feature of our ‘Winter Words’ stand-up-poetry and creative writing evenings. The Winter Words evening events run from May through to September, on the last Wednesday of the month and start at 7pm.

The June session of Winter Words is for the kids, a celebration of Matariki – the Māori New Year. This is the one session of Winter Words set aside for children. This is their time to shine like the Matariki cluster.
Last year we looked at ‘Taonga tuku iho – a treasure handed down’ and ‘whānaungatanga – my family’.
This year we look to Tangaroa, for a sea voyaging theme and we celebrate our belonging in Aotearoa.

We hope you will all get involved – the success of this evening is dependent on everyone pulling in the same direction. The teachers need to find time to motivate the kids, and ideally enable them to peer critique and support them as they edit their mahi. The parents need to bring finalists along on the evening and support them. Our local hapū have to put aside their commitments to get here too, and our judges need to sift through hundreds of poems to choose their stand-out pieces and then convene and try to agree. (Not an easy job I assure you!)

Our wonderful Auckland Libraries – Mahurangi East Library Community and library staff support with providing the venue. All of our super Friends of the Library contribute to the prizes for the kids, every time they purchase donated books or pick up a raffle ticket. Our Friends Committee show manaakitanga on the evening as they host our whānau with refreshments and added organisation.

Paula Green offers us copy of her new children’s Poetry book – ‘Groovy Fish’. (Remember to check out Paula’s Poetry Box blog for hints and examples of children’s poetry.) Charlotte Gibbs editor of Toi Toi Magazine will offer prizes once more, and one lucky poet will win a copy of ‘Jillion’. Healing Through Arts Trust is a new sponsor this year and will be offering a family pass to their upcoming show at the Warkworth Town Hall, ‘Next Steps’. This year’s ultimate prize, a trip to Auckland’s Maritime Museum where Larry Paul skipper of Waitangi 1894 will host us on-board for a luncheon with the Friends. ‘Waitangi’ is a Logan Brothers gaff rigged racing yacht, built on the shores of the Waitematā and berthed at Auckland’s Maritime Museum. You will also get to spend time in the museum itself. Our thanks also to Ann Cook of Kip McGrath Education Warkworth, who are another returning sponsor. Our trusty book supplier is the Matakana Village Bookshop.

With no time to spare, we hope you will be able to present these themes and support student writing as soon as possible. We aim to make this event memorable for our young creative poets and trust it will be an event that they come to look forward to each year. Other announcements will follow as we confirm sponsorship and judging roles.

Ngā mihi mahana,

Fleur Coleman

Senior Children’s and Youth Librarian, Mahurangi East Library & Winter Words co-ordinator for the Mahurangi East Friends of the Library group contact me at: mahueastfriends@gmail.com or phone: 02108271072


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