What is National Poetry Day?

Visit our new National Poetry Day website

National Poetry Day, the annual mass celebration of poetry and all things poetical, will take place this year on Thursday 6 October 2016. The theme is Messages: all are invited to participate by enjoying, discovering and sharing poetry. We will soon be filling this site with Message poems, ideas, activities, downloadable images. Just sign up with us to ensure you don’t miss out.

You can download free posters and lesson plans to help you celebrate this year’s National Poetry Day, check out our National Poetry Day ambassadors and read a selection of poetry to help you ‘Say it with a poem’.

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


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