The theme for our 13th annual Lest We Forget Poetry Competition continues to align with the WWI Centenary: "An Unprecedented Trial".

By 1918, the First World War had raged much longer than anyone had anticipated. As casualties reached horrific numbers, all sides of the conflict were exhausted. War fatigue, mass grieving, and deprivation caused by war, was leading to resistance and revolution. Across the world and even in New Zealand, citizens were dissenting, including Waikato's Princess Te Puea Hērangi who invited conscripted Māori young men to Te Paina pa for sanctuary. On top of the trials of war, the influenza epidemic swept across the world decimating the young and healthy - soldiers and civilians alike. And still the wheels of war turned.

This year we invite you to reflect on this seemingly endless conflict: on those who resisted, those who revolted, those who endured.

Image caption: Madison Nonoa, Lest We Forget Poetry Competition Finalist 2017, Auckland War Memorial Museum

Writers can choose to respond to the theme in poetry or prose. The Lest We Forget Poetry Competition is open to all ages. There are three age categories: 18 years +, 12 - 17 years and 11 years and under.

Please email your entries to or you can mail them to:

Lest We Forget Poetry Competition
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Private Bag 92018
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1142

Please include the following details with your entry: your name, address, phone number and age. 

Entries must be received by 5pm on Tuesday 10 April, 2018. Entries will be judged by a panel of Museum writers, curators and educators. The judges' decision is final. Finalists, chosen from each age category will be invited to read their entries inside the Museum on Anzac Day at 1.30pm.

Image caption: James Drake, Lest We Forget Poetry Competition Finalist 2017, Auckland War Memorial Museum