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Southern DHB celebrates national poetry day with meal tray poems

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Poems in the Waiting Room

Southern DHB teamed up with ‘Poems in the Waiting Room’ to celebrate National Poetry Day on Friday (24 August).

Inpatients at Dunedin, Wakari, Southland and Lakes District Hospitals were treated to some printed poetry supplied by the Dunedin based arts in health charity which were placed on their lunchtime meal trays for them to enjoy.

The poems were chosen to suit all tastes with adult poems on one side of the sheet and a poem for younger patients on the other side.

“We’re so pleased to support ‘Poems in the Waiting Room’ on National Poetry Day with their efforts to put poems in health care settings. Poetry can be perfect reading material in hospital as they are quick to read, can make us reflect, and make us smile. We hope our patients and visitors enjoy them,” says Southern DHB Executive Director Communications Nicola Mutch.

The idea has been commended by Nicky Page, Director City of Literature who says this is a wonderful initiative. “Ruth Arnison’s poetry choices are perfect and it’s exciting that Poems in the Waiting Room and Southern DHB have partnered to celebrate National Poetry Day in this happy and original way. It reinforces just how useful poems can be (as well as fun!).”

Poems in the Waiting Room founder Ruth Arnison says having the meal trays is just another way of encouraging people to enjoy poetry. “It complements the poetry cards we supply to the hospital and we really hope they’re enjoyed on National Poetry Day.” 

About National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day was established in 1997. A one-day national poetry event extravaganza, it is held on the fourth Friday of August each year.

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About Poems in the Waiting Room

Poems in the Waiting Room (NZ) is a Dunedin based arts in health charity. Their aim is to provide a free source of well-chosen poetry for patients waiting for medical appointments, rest home residents waiting for meals, outings or appointments, hospice patients and their families and prison inmates.

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  • Photographs of Ruth Arnison from Poems in the Waiting Room holding the poetry on a meal tray.