Founded in 1989 by Karen McNabb, Jeffrey Harpeng and David Howard, the Canterbury Poets’ Collective exists to foster access to and excellence in the art of poetry.

Our annual Poetry in Performance readings series began in 1990, and has continued every year despite earthquakes, fires, and Covid 19.

Grounded in Canterbury and centred in Christchurch, the annual CPC Poetry in Performance readings bring the best, most diverse list of poets in Aotearoa New Zealand to perform live alongside established and emerging local talent. Our legendary open mic also offers a welcoming place for writers of all levels to test-drive new ideas and develop their art.

While the readings are a staple part of what we do, the CPC also takes local poets on tours to other centres, plays mentor-matchmakers, publishes anthologies of work from the open mic, and in 2021 launched a biannual manuscript competition for the best first collection by a local writer.

Poetry is what sustains us
when nothing else makes sense.

Join us!