National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day 2013

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.

National Poetry Day in 2015 will be on 8 October, and the theme is Light. The Poetry Society and Southbank Centre have once again assembled a team of Young Producers aged 18-25 who will curate a day of illuminating poetry readings, workshops and installations. National Poetry Day Live will see an afternoon of free readings will take place in Royal Festival Hall, London featuring performances from some of the UK’s biggest and newest talents in poetry and spoken word, including Karen McCarthy Woolf, Michael Symmons Roberts, Rachel Rooney, John Hegley, and more. Working with Jaybird Live Literature, there will be a special evening event featuring new work by a range of contemporary poets who will examine what’s illuminated and what stays in the shadows.

There will also be a free outdoor open mic at the London Transport Museum, online poems and activities to follow all day long, plus a special collaboration with Transport for London, featuring poems at stations on the London Underground, and more.


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

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