National Poetry Day


Francesca Beard c. Talissa Makdessi
Francesca Beard c. Talissa Makdessi

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 organisation of National Poetry Day was transferred to a dedicated organisation, 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, held each year at the Southbank Centre, London.

The next National Poetry Day will be on 6 October 2016, and the theme will be Messages.

National Poetry Day Live 2016

The Poetry Society will be working again with the Southbank Centre to put on a free afternoon of poetry, 1-6.30pm, at National Poetry Day Live. Programmed by a group of young poetry producers aged 18-25, National Poetry Day Live presents the last word in all that’s new and most exciting in poetry, with an array of messages-themed performances and workshops, and activities for all ages.


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

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