THE DIVINE MUSES was founded by Siobhan Harvey in 2003 and provides an opportunity to hear leading New Zealand poets read their own poetry. As a poet and tutor Harvey recognised there was also a need to encourage new writers to poetry and with Jane Sanders established the NEW VOICES – Emerging Poets Competition in 2012. The competition is open only to writers considered ‘emerging’ i.e. have not published one or more books (fiction, poetry, nonfiction) with a New Zealand or overseas publisher, and is a current or former undergraduate (BA, Hons, BSc, BComm etc) or Masters student. Initially entries were invited from Auckland University then AUT in 2013 and we are delighted to now have extended the entry to MIT and Massey’s Albany campus students. The poets have welcomed the opportunity to present and read their own poetry.
With the New Voices Emerging Poets Competition building each year, Harvey and Sanders decided in 2015 that they needed to look for additional funds to support the event. Lesley Smith suggested Poetry Broadsheets published by letterpress printing. Letterpress printing is a technique of relief printing invented in the mid-15th century by Johannes Gutenberg. It quickly became the standard until offset printing was developed in the 20th century. Today the process has been revived by printers worldwide. Combining their interests in art and poetry, letterpress printing provides a unique way to promote poetry and create a beautiful handcrafted object.
Divine Muses has been delighted to work with some of New Zealand’s finest letterpress printers who have generously donated their time to interpret and print a poem by a poet participating in the current year’s Divine Muses evening of poetry.
The resulting limited editions, printed on beautiful paper are offered for sale to build funds to support The Divine Muses and New Voices into the future.
Organisers Siobhan Harvey and Jane Sanders are grateful to both the printers and poets who have kindly assisted by giving their time and skills to the the fundraising campaign. Each are given 3 limited prints as thanks with 3 to be sold for fundraising.