National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day 2018 web banner
National Poetry Day 2018 artwork by Chie Hosaka

Since 1994 National Poetry Day has engaged millions of people with poetry through a range of live events and web-based activities for people throughout the country. Such a variety of poetry is written and read that each year the day is given a new theme, in order to highlight particular poets and styles of poetry.

In 2007 the coordination of National Poetry Day was transferred to a dedicated organisation (where you can find out about other NPD events, and even add your own to their map), though The Poetry Society continues to celebrate the day with exciting events and initiatives each year, including a whole day of poetry at National Poetry Day Live, which has been held each year at the Southbank Centre, London.

This year’s National Poetry Day is on 4 October 2018. The Poetry Society will be celebrating the day once again at National Poetry Day Live at Southbank Centre, with events for schools and adults. Readers will include: Young People’s Laureate for London, Momtaza Mehri; Raymond Antrobus; Joelle Taylor; Anthony Anaxagorou; Caroline Bird; Zaffar Kunial; and Hannah Lowe. Find out more and book your ticket. 

The theme for National Poetry Day 2018 is Change. If you are a teacher or educator, read our free teaching resource on the theme of change ahead of 4 October. If  you would like to book a poet to visit your school on or around National Poetry Day this year, make an enquiry today.


Prior to 1999 National Poetry Day was not themed. Since then it has had a new theme each year.

2018: Change
2017: Freedom
2016: Messages
2015: Light
2014: Remember
2013: ‘Water, water everywhere’
2012: Stars
2011: Games
2010: Home
2009: Heroes and Heroines
2008: Work
2007: Dreams
2006: Identity
2005: The Future
2004: Food
2003: Britain
2002: Celebration
2001: Journeys
2000: Fresh Voices
1999: Song Lyrics