Her Majesty The Queen held a reception at Clarence House on 11 October 2023 to celebrate 30 years of the charitable work of the Forward Arts Foundation and our work in promoting public knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of poetry in the UK and Ireland and widening poetry’s audience, honouring achievement and supporting talent through our National Poetry Day and Forward Prizes for Poetry. During the reception The Queen met our guests including staff, trustees, poets, actors, ambassadors and supporters. Our guests included: Forward Arts Foundation Founder and Trustee William Sieghart CBE, Trustees Amelia Richards, Maya Ophelia, Aoife O’Connor, Latinka Pilipovic, actors Natasha McElhone, Denise Gough, Helena Bonham-Carter, Karen Bryson, journalist Kavita Puri, writer Allie Esiri and British radio and news presenter James Naughtie FRSE.

Our Founder William Sieghart gave a speech in which he spoke about the earliest days of National Poetry Day and the Forward Prizes for Poetry. He also spoke about the vital need for poetry, talking of the toll the pandemic took on peoples’ mental health, and how this impact has been particularly hard for children. Helena Bonham-Carter read the poem ‘Yes’ by William Stafford, which includes the lines: 

“It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.”

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We welcome conversations from people and organisations interested in supporting our opportunities to widen poetry participation and sponsoring our Prizes. Please contact Lucy Macnab, Co-Executive Director on lucy@forwardartsfoundation.org

Photos by Ian Jones

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If you are interested in supporting our opportunities to widen poetry participation or sponsoring our Prizes, please contact Lucy Macnab, Co-Executive Director.

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