Justine Whitfield, Cat Woodward, Panni Palasti, Cliff Fell, Rae Varcoe, councillor Gaile Noonan, Sarah Lin Wilson and Pam Coleman who all feature in the Bank Lane poetry installation. Photo: Caroline Crick.

Banking on local poetry


The words of more than 20 local poets have been immortalised on the walls of Bank Lane in the CBD as part of a project for the Nelson Arts Festival.

The project reflects the diversity of the local poetry scene and represents the work of poets associated with the region, says Cliff Fell who curated it.

“Some of them were born here, while others have made their lives in the region or later passed on through.”

The project was created in collaboration with NMIT’s School of Arts and Media, and the overall installation was designed by NMIT graphic design student Cris Rule.

“There are lots of poets in Nelson. Can’t have all of them but wanted to represent poets whom I particularly admired even if they are not necessarily living in Nelson now,” says Cliff.

“I wanted to have poets who had connections to Nelson.”

The poems represent a broad spectrum of styles, but Cliff says that he is loving seeing poetry out in the streets.

“I just want to see poems out on the street and for people to enjoy them and think what they think. It’s nice to see the area come alive so it’s exciting. It looks really good.”