What is National Poetry Day?

National Poetry Day, the annual mass celebration of poetry and all things poetical, marked its 21st birthday  on Thursday 8 October 2015. You can still download our free National Poetry Day anthology of Light Poems here, and check out the poems and poets involved here. What does it mean, to see the world as a poet does? The best responses to our Make Like A Poet digital challenge were blazed across Blackpool Lights on the day.

National Poetry Day is co-ordinated by the Forward Arts Foundation, a charity that celebrates poetry and promotes it as part of everyday life. Learn more about our plans and offers by signing up to our mailing list.


Who can put on an event?
Anyone. We welcome events of all shapes and sizes, whether from individuals, groups or organisations.  And if you are using our logo, take pictures and tweet them with the hashtag #nationalpoetryday

What does it cost?
It’s FREE. Just register any public event you’re hosting to be listed on the ‘what’s on’ page.
You are welcome to charge for your event. Don’t list schools events here though we’d like to hear about them so please email us with details.

How do I register?
We are straightening out our calendar and will have a registration form up before too long.

When is National Poetry Day 2016?
The next National Poetry Day will be Thursday 6th October 2016.

What is the theme of National Poetry Day 2016? 
The theme for National Poetry Day 2016 will be Messages.

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 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. Here is some of the best of National Poetry Days of yore.

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