Poet David Merritt is in South Wairarapa for a week of performances ahead of National Poetry Day on August 23. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Featherston Booktown poet-in-residence David Merritt will be performing at Wairarapa schools ahead of National Poetry Day on August 23.

Merritt is a poet, philosopher, and street artist, who writes poems and then crafts his own poetry books out of recycled materials.

Free events in Featherston and Carterton are planned in celebration of the written word.

“I’m honoured that Featherston Booktown has invited me to be their poet in residence for this week,” Merritt said.

“I am full of admiration for Featherston Booktown and its success – and for what they do to bring books and writers to everyone, particularly young people.

“I hope that during my time in vibrant Featherston, I can share my love of poetry and books and inspire all to have a lifelong love of reading.”

Merritt spent Tuesday at Kuranui College, presenting to arts and English classes, talking about his life and work.

Booktown’s operations manager Mary Biggs praised his work.

“His exquisite poetry and his unique way of connecting books with people – particularly children and young people – lies at the heart of everything Featherston Booktown stands for.

“David is one of many outstanding writers Featherston Booktown will be featuring in its annual programme of events.”

Wairarapa hosts a packed schedule of readings on Poetry Day, the national event sponsored by Phantom Billstickers.

Carterton hosts Climate Positive, a celebration of positive action against the climate crisis with Extinction Rebellion Wairarapa.

Featherston has events all day, including poetry readings in town bookstores and an open mic night at the Royal Hotel with poets Tim Grgec and Mary McCallum.

For more information, go to www.nzbookawards.nz/national-poetry-day, or www.booktown.org.nz, or Featherstonbooktown on Facebook

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day events in Wairarapa [August 23]

9am-5pm: Exhibition of short works by New Zealand poets – Featherston Ferret Bookshop, Fitzherbert Street. Contact: Denise or Terry, 04 384 8786

10am: Robert McLean [reading poems from Figure and Ground Poetry], Messines Bookshop, 76 Fox St, Featherston. Contact: Lincoln Gould, lincoln@messinesbooks.com or 021 753 920

11am: Simon Fleck, Loco Bookshop, 50 Fitzherbert St, Featherston. Contact Kate Mead, 027 513 1418

2pm: Dave and Patsy Adams [reading selected classical poetry], The Dickensian, 25 Fitzherbert St, Featherston. Contact: Dave Adams 06 3088 870

3pm: Phillip Scott [reading from Lines of Sight], For the Love of Books, 89 Fitzherbert Street, Featherston. Contact: Jennifer Grey 022 659 7573

7pm: Climate Positive Community Courthouse, 60 Holloway St, Carterton. Contact Alison, 021 078 9610

7pm: Open Mic night with poets Tim Grgec and Mary McCallum, Royal Hotel, 22 Revans St, Featherston. Contact: Mary Biggs 027 483 6181