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.


9 Responses to About

  1. dfb says:

    Hi Ruth – I love your poems on ‘Shot Glass Journal’. Wonderful and inspiring.

  2. ruth arnison says:

    Thanks David. I enjoyed the opportunity to read your poems and visit your website – Great art!!

  3. jik says:

    We love your project and thought you might like to know that you’ve had a mention in our poetry blog at http://boyntonpoetrycontest.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/while-you-were-waiting/.

  4. Pingback: send me your heart | helenlehndorf

  5. keith nunes says:

    Hi Ruth
    Love this venture. Awesome idea. Wondered about the 2015 competition?
    Warm regards,
    Keith Nunes

    • ruth arnison says:

      Hi Keith
      Booksellers NZ are unable to sponsor the competition this year so I’m scurrying around looking for another sponsor. I’ll be advertising the competition details late October on my blog, via poetry groups and libraries. Many thanks for your interest. Cheers Ruth

  6. Hi Ruth

    My contact James Norcliffe let me know about your organisation and competition. My latest book Timelord Dreaming: tweetems from ward 8b would be an ideal addition to your organisation’s work. We would be delighted to work on an arrangement whereby your organisation would receive a share of all sales. Though located in Australia, we are distributed in New Zealand by Wheelers, TLS and Ingram International. The title is available in eBook formats as well as paperback. For more information: http://tinyurl.com/o8p2au6

  7. Pingback: Hagley Writers' Institute » Blog Archive » Poems in the Waiting Room competition

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s