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Jodie Reid

An event to celebrate National Poetry Day in 2017 has turned into a monthly Poetry Jam at the Whirikoka Campus in Gisborne, thanks largely to the efforts of Kāwai Raupapa kaiako Jodie Reid.

Today they will be celebrating the sixth monthly poetry jam ahead of National Poetry Day on Friday.

Jodie says the event has grown in popularity since it was first held.

“This year it has exploded into a monthly event in the middle of the month and now word has got out and more people are coming from our community,” she says.

The poetry jams are titled RA for Radiating Awesomeness and Jodie says the event was founded to assist poets, rappers and singers to share their awesomeness with the world in a safe space and to provide a platform for them to perform in front of a live audience .

“I see this event as a collective space of artists sharing light in the world in their own way. I am a poetic word artist myself so I know how brave you need to be just to share your inner thoughts. This can seem so big and scary, but in the sharing we can help so many.”

Jodie says a range of peple have taken part on the Poetry Jams so far.

“I have had a nanny in her late 50s share her first poem with the world after writing for 31 years. I have had artists share whom would never be brave enough until now to share and I have found a local community artist that I invited to the event. Plus a collection of staff and students have shared their original, authentic pieces.”

The Poetry Jam events take place in the Whirikoka Campus cafeteria on the second Wednesday of every month from 12pm to 1pm.

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