Since its inception in 1990, the Canterbury Poets’ Collective has run an annual series of poetry readings – Poetry in Performance – bringing guest poets from across Aotearoa New Zealand to read with local poets.
Open mic has been central from the beginning, and gives new poets their first public outing, as well as more established names an opportunity to road-test new work.
I’m particularly aware of what it means for poets and writers making their way to finding a poetic voice, so that the ‘open mic’ initiative becomes a significant contribution to the community at large.– Michael Harlow, guest reader 2018 season
The arrival of Covid pushed us to add a new string to our bow – making use of technology to live-stream guests who could not join us in person. It also means that the readings themselves are available to a wider audience.
I’m especially grateful to the CPC for its ‘Poetry in Performance’ weekly readings, where I’ve been inspired, moved, and challenged by fine poetry, and had the chance to connect informally with local poets– Alison Glenny, guest reader 2020 season
From early days at the Arts Centre, to the WEA, the Madras Cafe Bookshop, the CPIT Students’ Union, and now the Imagitech Theatre at Ara, the annual CPC Poetry in Performance readings have continued – the longest-running poetry readings series in the country.
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