Stanzas celebrate ‘Change’ on National Poetry Day

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

Equinox passes.
Penury confronts Mammon.
Free-range turkeys fret.
      – Geoff Lander

‘Change’ is the theme of National Poetry Day and Greenwich Stanza is just one of many Poetry Society Stanzas reading, writing, performing and sharing poetry to make a difference on 4 October 2018.

Greenwich Stanza members, including Geoff Lander (above), wrote and exchanged haikus – a form well suited to capturing change and effecting it. “The project was enjoyed by members and brought us closer together as a group,” commented June Webster.

Newport Stanza members Ann Drysdale and Angela Platt will be reading their poems and talking about poetry on community radio at NHSound, Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, on National Poetry Day. Oxford Stanza 2 will be hosting readings at The Abingdon Arms, Beckley, on 7 October, with poems about ‘Change’, with a guest poet and an open mic session. And Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Stanza are calling for ‘Change’ poems at its inaugural workshop: “poems that address change – positive, negative, sudden, incremental, welcome, feared, small or great – or even poems on another theme which you want to explore, to consider how it might change and you might develop it” (details from [email protected] gmail.com).

Other examples of the poetic uplift on offer around the country include an event at the Bodenham Arboretum, Herefordshire, organised by the Bewdley Bards. They will be hanging the trees with poetry and reading poems. Trees will also be explored through poetry and prose performances at Dumfries Museum and Birmingham Literary Festival will host Unwritten: Caribbean Poems after the First World War. There will be poetry walks and readings from Thomas Hardy’s home Max Gate in Dorset, and on the Penistone Line between Huddersfield and Sheffield, there will be reading, writing and performance opportunities. Literature Wales will once again be challenging four poets to the mammoth task of writing 100 Welsh-language poems in 24 hours. Find details about these events and others on the National Poetry Day website.

Don’t forget National Poetry Day Live, a free afternoon and evening of poetry in the newly reopened Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer organised by The Poetry Society and Southbank Centre, London. Raymond Antrobus, Joelle Taylor, Anthony Anaxagorou and Momtaza Mehri, Young People’s Laureate for London and National Poetry Competition prizewinner, will be reading in the afternoon event for schools, from 1pm. Anthony Anaxagorou, Caroline Bird, Zaffar Kunial and Hannah Lowe – all poets who are bringing about shifts in culture and society through their work, will be reading from 5pm. Visit The Poetry Society webpage for full details on this and other initiatives.

3 October 2018.