National Poetry Day 2018 – calling for change

Happy National Poetry Day 2018!  National Poetry Day is a big annual celebration of poetry across the UK, this year on the theme of ‘Change’. 

To mark the occasion, The Poetry Society is today delivering a pair of showpiece live events at the Southbank Centre.  First up is Schools National Poetry Day Live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer at 1pm, a brilliant free series of readings with a stellar line-up including Young People’s Laureate for London, Momtaza Mehri, Raymond Antrobus, Joelle Taylor and Anthony Anaxagorou. Schools can also find a specially commissioned lesson plan here written for National Poetry Day on the theme of Change, looking at Imogen Catsaras’ ‘Dawn in Dartmouth’, a commended poem in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2017.

This is closely followed by National Poetry Day Live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre at 5pm, a fantastic – and again free – extravaganza of poetic talent featuring the electric quartet of Anthony Anaxagorou, Hannah Lowe, Caroline Bird and Zaffar Kunial, plus three Foyle Young Poet stars Tate Standage, Annie Fan and Em Power and the premiere of the poetry film ‘The Opened Field’ directed by Helmie Stil based on Dom Bury’s National Poetry Competition 2017 winning poem (which will also be available to view on The Poetry Society’s website).  Reserve your free place at Schools National Poetry Day Live here and National Poetry Day Live here

At the Poetry Society’s Poetry Café in Covent Garden, you can join a National Poetry Day special Poetry @3 at 3pm, a chance to read your own work and have your poetry voice heard among a supportive crowd of fellow poetry enthusiasts – details here.

The Poetry Society is also celebrating a panoply of winners on the day – there will be an announcement of the winners of our Stanza Poetry Competition on the theme of ‘Tradition’ (the orthodox-leaning twin of ‘Change’). You can also read judge Meryl Pugh’s pick of members’ poems inspired by the NPD theme of ‘Change’.

Poetry events will be happening all over the country under the National Poetry Day banner and you can find out more through the National Poetry Day website, with a map of events and poems to read which you can browse here. Poetry Society Stanza groups will also be reading, writing, sharing and performing poems.

And after all the excitements of the day itself and to wind down the week, on the airwaves you can listen to a broadcast of Foyle Young Poets reading in Hull for the BBC’s Contains Strong Language Festival (taking place on Sunday 30th September) on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb on Friday 5th October at 10pm.  

However you might mark National Poetry Day – though attending an event, listening to or reading a poem, tweeting a favourite couplet, entering the National Poetry Competition or perhaps by getting more involved with poetry through becoming a Poetry Society member – The Poetry Society wishes you a very happy day in the company of poetry.

4th October 2018