EVENT CANCELLED – due to the RED light setting this event is unfortunately cancelled, next week we’re announcing a revised digital Writers programme. For more information on refunds, click here.

Show Ponies was something else. Freya Daly Sadgrove had a vision, and she brought it to reality in more luxury, glitter and glory than anyone could ever have hoped.” —Hannah Newport-Watson, Pantograph Punch

Show Ponies exploded into being in 2019, in a sell-out event hailed by Motif Poetry as “a watershed moment for poetry in performance in Wellington” – and has sold out every production since.

This Festival, an entirely new lineup of Aotearoa’s most mesmerising live poets will take the stage in outrageous costumes, amongst bright lights, beats and backup dancers. Our host Freya Daly Sadgrove will be joined by Vanessa Crofskey, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Ruby Solly, Ronia Ibrahim, Rachel McAlpine, Nathan Joe, Jordan Hamel, Essa Ranapiri, Emma Barnes and Daniel Goodwin.

Don’t miss this utterly unique poetic experience.

Ko Show Ponies tēnei. Mō Te Taurima Toi o Aotearoa Nui Tireni, ko tēnei whakaaturanga tētehi o ngā mea auaha rawa atu. E mau kākahu autekēti ana ngā tāngata kaitoikupu, ā e whakangahau atu ana I te atamira, he kaikanikani anō hoki ka kitea. Kei mahue tēnei toikupu ahurei ake nei.

Freya Daly Sadgrove

Aotearoa / New Zealand

Freya Daly Sadgrove is a writer, performer and theatre-maker from Pōneke. She has a Master of Arts in Poetry from the International Institute of Modern Letters, and her work has appeared in various publications in Aotearoa, Australia and the US. She is the architect behind Show Ponies, hailed by Janis Freegard as “a new bar for poetry”. Her first poetry collection, Head Girl, was published in 2020 with Victoria University Press.

Vanessa Mei Crofskey

Aotearoa / New Zealand

Vanessa Crofskey (born in 1996) is a writer and artist of Hokkien Chinese and Pākehā descent. She graduated from Auckland University of Technology with a degree in Sculpture in 2017. Through her practice she investigates social connection: how we form identities through intimacy, inheritance, location and violence. Vanessa has published and presented widely as an interdisciplinary artist – in performance spaces, galleries, festivals plus digital and print publications. She has written for The Spinoff, Gloria Books, New Zealand Herald, Dear Journal, Hainamana and other serious publishing places. She is also a two-time poetry slam champion and award-winning theatre maker but we promise that doesn’t detract from the rest of her career and personality. Vanessa currently works for The Pantograph Punch as a staff writer, and as a curator at Window Gallery (University of Auckland). She advocates for complex trauma survivors and those with attention deficit disorder, plus is very funny and knows a lot about what snacks to eat.

Selina Tusitala Marsh

Aotearoa / New Zealand

Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh is of Samoan, Tuvaluan, English and French descent. She was the first Pacific Islander to graduate with a PhD in English from The University of Auckland and is now a lecturer in the English Department, specialising in Pasifika literature. Her first collection, the bestselling Fast Talking PI, won the NZSA Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry in 2010. Marsh represented Tuvalu at the London Olympics Poetry Parnassus event in 2012; her work has been translated into Ukrainian and Spanish and has appeared in numerous forms live in schools, museums, parks, billboards, print and online literary journals. As Commonwealth Poet (2016), she composed and performed for the Queen at Westminster Abbey. She became New Zealand's Poet Laureate in 2017. Her debut children’s book and memoir, Mophead: How Your Difference Makes a Difference, was awarded the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year – 2020 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

Ruby Solly

Aotearoa / New Zealand

Ruby Solly (Kāi Tahu, Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe) is a writer, musician and taonga pūoro practitioner living in Pōneke. She has been published in journals such as Landfall, Starling and Sport, among others. In 2020 she released her debut album, Pōneke, which looks at the soundscapes of Wellington’s past, present and future through the use of taonga pūoro, cello, and environmental sounds. She is currently completing a PhD in public health, focusing on the use of taonga pūoro in hauora Māori. Tōku Pāpā, published in Februrary 2021, is her first book.

Jordan Hamel

Aotearoa / New Zealand

Jordan Hamel is a Pōneke-based writer, poet and performer. He was the 2018 NZ Poetry Slam champion and represented NZ at the World Poetry Slam Champs in 2019. He is the co-editor of Stasis Journal and co-editor of a forthcoming NZ Climate Change Poetry Anthology from Auckland University Press. He is a 2021 Michael King Emerging Writer-in-Residence and has recent words in The Spinoff, Landfall, Newsroom, Re:, Poetry NZ Yearbook and elsewhere. His debut poetry collection is forthcoming from Dead Bird Books in 2022, he is very excited.

Emma Barnes

Aotearoa / New Zealand

Emma Barnes (Pākehā, they/them) lives in Aro Valley in Pōneke | Wellington. Their poetry has been widely published for more than a decade in journals including Landfall, Turbine | Kapohau, Cordite and Best New Zealand Poems. They are the author of the poetry collection I Am in Bed with You (2021) and the co-editor of Out Here: An anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa (2021).

Essa May Ranapiri

Aotearoa / New Zealand

Essa May Ranapiri  (Ngāti Wehi Wehi / Highgate / Na Guinnich | takatāpui | they / ia) is a writer living on Ngāti Wairere land, their first book ransack was published in 2019 and their second book Echidna will be published in 2022 through Te Herenga Waka University Press. They will write until they are dead.

Dan Goodwin

Dan Goodwin (they/them) is a Scottish-Pākeha performance poet, actor and writer. In 2016, they completed their Masters of Text and Performance at RADA in the UK before returning to Aotearoa. Currently the Auckland 2021 slam Champion, their solo show Breathe toured the UK after winning the Harold and Jean Brooks award, and their performance poetry has been published by RE:, Attitude, RNZ and TVNZ. They have performed nationally and internationally across various spaces, including Auckland Pride, Int. Comedy Fest, London’s Bloomsbury festival, and 2021’s ‘Welcome to Nowhere’.

Ronia Ibrahim

Aotearoa / New Zealand

Ronia Ibrahim is a writer, artist and designer from Wellington. She works in many creative spaces, spanning visual art, performance and creative writing. She is a National Slam Poetry finalist, and her poetry and non fiction has been published in places such as Starling, Stasis, Pantograph Punch and Newsroom. In June last year she co hosted Before I Go Home a migrant poetry showcase with poetry alter ego Khadro Mohamed as part of Kia Mau Festival, and in November was featured in the Verb Festival poetry showcase. Her work is often cheesy, delicate and feral, and homage to childhood and the diasporic experience. In her spare time she is an op shop fiend and twitter sensation.

Rachel McAlpine

Aotearoa / New Zealand

Rachel McAlpine's first three books of poems were published in the 1970s. They included a blistering feminist manifesto, Stay at the Dinner Party, and more poetry books, plays and novels followed. After 20 years as a pioneer in digital content, 82-year-old Rachel has returned to poetry with a best-seller: How To Be Old. Her reading is backed by four grey-haired dancers from Wellington's Crows Feet Dance Collective [: Helen Balfour, Trish Stevenson, Annie Ruth and Liz Melchior].

Hannah Playhouse


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