2016 – Messages

PJ Harvey performs at National Poetry Day Live
PJ Harvey performs at a packed National Poetry Day Live. Image © Hayley Madden for The Poetry Society

National Poetry Day was on 6 October 2016, and the theme was Messages. The Poetry Society celebrated with a range of projects and events:

Messages Poems

“The air is static
               pent with heat.
               I lie watching
the curtains light up in morse”

– from ‘Storm‘ by Jennie Carr

The winners of our latest Members’ Poems Competition on the theme of ‘Messages’ have been announced, and published in the latest issue of Poetry News, our members’ newsletter. We also have a wide range of poems available on our online Poems database – some of which we have picked out for the theme. You can explore these poems from this page, where we have gathered some of them together. Why not start with ‘Storm’ by Jennie Carr?

The winners of the Stanza Poetry Competition were announced on National Poetry Day itself, and these poems have been written on an ‘opposite’ theme of ‘Silence’. 

National Poetry Day Live 2016

The Poetry Society worked again with the Southbank Centre to put on a free afternoon of poetry, 1-6.30pm, at National Poetry Day Live. The event this year, hosted by Inua Ellams and Indigo Williams, was programmed by a group of young poetry producers aged 18-25 and featured Mercury Prize-winning artist PJ Harvey, Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell who was live-drawing the performers and the poems, a live recording of The Verb with Ian McMillan and much, much more.

Some photos from the day…

All photos © Hayley Madden for The Poetry Society

Teaching Resources

The Poetry Society contributed to the range of free resources available on the National Poetry Day website. Find out how to get more poetry into the classroom on this national day of celebration – and beyond.

Poetry Periscope at Durham Book Festival

What better day than National Poetry Day to call in at the Poetry Periscope, as it appeared for the duration of Durham Book Festival at the Palace Green Library, from 16 September until 16 October. This project saw a bright yellow periscope with a button you could press to hear any one of a selection of poems by European poets.

Poetry in the Piazza

With our friends at the London Transport Museum, we hosted a pop-up Poetry Garden outside the main entrance of museum to celebrate National Poetry Day 2016. We explored the theme of ‘Messages’, by inviting visitors to write their own messages, indulge in some word-play, flick through poetry books and listen to a poem recital or two.

Poetry at Covent Garden Station

For the third year running, our local Underground Station, Covent Garden, played some ‘Messages’ related poems aloud over the tannoy throughout the day. It always proves popular with travellers, many of whom are, at first, quite puzzled by the unusual station announcements.