What is National Poetry Day?

National Poetry Day, remember? Remember! 2nd October 2014

National Poetry Day is a nationwide celebration of poetry held on the first Thursday in October. Since 1994 it has shaken poetry from its dust-jacket into the nations’ streets, offices, shops, playgrounds, train stations and airwaves, through live events, happenings, classroom activities, conversations, broadcasts, tweets and spontaneous uncontrollable outbursts of poetry.

The theme this year is Remember.

Looking for inspiration? We are stocking up on Remember poems, ancient and modern. Here are a few to get you started – use the Remember tag on our poetry page to find more.

I remember, I remember

Do you remember an inn, Miranda?

Remember me when I am gone away

Remember, remember the fifth of November



Whether an invitation, a threat, an incantation, a question, a prayer, a lament, a cry of glee, whispered low or shouted on the roof-tops,  Remember is a word that resonates. We’d love you to share your poems with us via Twitter with the hashtag #nationalpoetryday or post them on our Facebook page.

News of the programme will be announced here, but in the meantime there are lots of opportunities to join in – we list events of all shapes and sizes in the what’s on section. See Submit an Event for information on how to host and promote your own event.

Countdown with us!



What Happened in 2013

Here’s a little of what happened in 2013, when the theme was Water:

We had Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas, read by the Prince of Wales (with the faintest of Welsh lilts). We commissioned a gorgeous 30 second animation. We had Carol Ann Duffy, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Sean O’Brien, Pam Ayres, Alice Oswald, Felix Dennis, Jo Shapcott, E J Thribb, Lemn Sissay, Simon Armitage, the Vogons, George the Poet…. We relished the Grimsby fishermen speaking the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, performance poets posted throughout the London underground, Jordan from Rizzle Kicks showing off his tattoo of Kipling’s If alongside Mr Gee at Wembley and the 24 hour incarceration of four Welsh poets, with pen, paper, coffee and orders to create 100 new poems. John Cooper Clarke, the original iconoclastic punk poet, was live-streamed  from Newcastle to 14 venues throughout the land – from Dundee to Southampton. A new Young Poet Laureate for London was announced at the House of Commons.  We assembled poems, films, lesson plans, activities  and posters here to help you celebrate with us and each other.


All about National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day was founded in 1994 by William Sieghart, and has engaged millions of people across the country reading, writing and listening to poetry.

From 1999 onwards, National Poetry Day it has been loosely themed: the theme is not prescriptive but it serves to kick start inspiration. Our partners at The Poetry Society have a great page with more detail here.

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


Submit an Event

Who can put on an event?
Anyone! We welcome events of all shapes and sizes, whether from individuals, groups or organisations.


What does it cost?
It’s FREE! Just register your event below to be listed on the ‘what’s on’ page.
You are welcome to charge for your event.


How do I register?
Just fill out the form here with details of where, when, what and who.