Poems in the Waiting Room (NZ) was a Dunedin based arts in health charity.
Our aim was 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.
The poetry cards, A4 sized three-fold cards, featured between eight and ten poems. New editions of the cards were printed and distributed every season. Poems included those from contemporary poets (especially New Zealand writers), older poems, a haiku, and poems for children. They were selected for readers’ enjoyment and were in no way a vehicle for delivering any social/health messages. The cards were available for reading and leaving on site or taken away for sharing or further reading.
The original print run of 500 cards in 2008 was limited to Dunedin medical practices. Over the years the print run gradually increased as we spread out from Dunedin. Prior to COVID we were printing 8000 cards every season and distributing them throughout New Zealand.
Each seasonal edition was also transcribed into braille and distributed as booklets to members of our sight impaired community.
Before we halted production in 2021 we were sending new cards, every quarter, to 453 rest homes, 644 medical practices, 8 prisons, 26 hospices, the SDHB, contributing poets, and interested individuals.
PitWR(NZ) relied solely on donations and successful applications to trusts/companies to fund its two costs – postage and printing.