Poems in the Waiting Room (NZ) is a Dunedin based arts in health charity.
Our 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.
The poetry cards, A4 sized three-fold cards, feature between eight and ten poems. New editions of the cards are printed and distributed every season. Poems include those from contemporary poets (especially New Zealand writers), older poems, a haiku, and poems for children. They are selected for readers’ enjoyment and are in no way a vehicle for delivering any social/health messages. The cards may be read and left 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 has gradually increased as we’ve spread out from Dunedin. We currently print 7750 cards every season and distribute them throughout the South Island and lower North Island. We plan to continue moving northwards as finances permit.
Each seasonal edition is also transcribed into braille and distributed as booklets to members of our sight impaired community.
We currently send new cards, every quarter, to 323 rest homes, 495 medical practices, 8 prisons, 5 hospices, contributing poets, interested individuals, and practices (outside our current area) who request cards.
PitWR(NZ) relies solely on donations and successful applications to trusts/companies to fund its two costs – postage and printing. Our long-term aim is to secure sponsorship so this service may be offered New Zealand-wide.