Vincent O'Sullivan and guests at Poets' Night Out


Vincent O’Sullivan, the New Zealand Poet Laureate will be officially honoured at Poets’ Night Out, at the Havelock North Function Centre, 7.30pm on Saturday 5 April.

Vincent will be joined by guests, previous Te Mata Poet’s Laureate Brian Turner and Jenny Bornholdt, and multiple award winner Greg O’Brien. Husband-and-wife poets Jenny Bornholdt and Gregory O'Brien have both been made members of the Order of Merit for their contributions to literature.

National Library spokeperson Peter Ireland says this cultural event is a popular literary occasion in Hawke’s Bay.

“The evening celebrations are being held in Havelock North this year, the birthplace of the Poet Laureate programme.” 

The National Library assumed responsibility for the New Zealand Poet Laureate Award from the Hawke’s Bay winery, Te Mata Estate, in 2007.

Local poet and author Marty Smith says the evening will be an enchanting mix of poetry and music.

“Award winning performer and composer Ariana Tikao will take part as well as local group JAM - Julia Morris, Amy Barnard and Maude Morris and talented students Katlyn Harrison and Nation Sullivan.”

“These creative youth represent our future, and there's always something very fresh and beautiful about that.”

Tickets $20.00, are available from Creative Hastings, Hastings District Libraries, Napier Libraries and Beattie and Forbes, or online at Eventfinder. Seats are limited so be in quick.

Mr O’Sullivan will receive his hard carved tokotoko at Matahiwi marae during his stay in Hawke’s Bay. Each Laureate is presented with their own tokotoko – a ceremonial carved walking stick – that symbolises their authority and status as poets. The National Library holds the matua, or parent tokotoko, to signify their joint guardianship, with each new Laureate, of the New Zealand Poet Laureate Award. The tokotoko is a link to the Hawke’s Bay origins of the award, and is created by Haumoana artist, Jacob Scott