National Poetry Day - Enjoy, Discover, Share
PoemsDiscover some classics - old and new
ResourcesFree teaching resources to introduce poetry to your class
CompetitionsA selection of exciting poetry competitions for you to enter!
EducationGreat ways to get your students enjoying poetry
LibrariesResources specially created for librarians
NewsThe latest about National Poetry Day
Poetry Recommendations40 gorgeous new poetry books for all ages and stages to read, listen to and share
BlogOur National Poetry Day blog
ImpactWhat does poetry mean to young people?
The Lost Spells
Robert Macfarlane, illustrated by Jackie Morris, Hamish Hamilton, £14.99
Kindred in spirit to The Lost Words but new in form, The Lost Spells is a pocket-sized treasure, a new collection of ‘spells’ – acrostic poetry and artwork – by beloved creative duo Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris.
Written to be read aloud, calling to forest, field, riverbank, ocean and to the heart, these ‘spells’ summon back what is often lost from sight and care, and inspire protection and action on behalf of the natural world. From Jay to Jackdaw, Oak to Barn Owl, Silver Birch to Grey Seal, they capture the special, individual spirit of each plant and creature. Above all, they celebrate a sense of wonder, bearing witness to nature’s power to amaze, console and bring joy.
The Girl and the Goddess
Nikita Gill, Ebury Press, £12.99
With Nikita Gill, international poetry sensation, follow the inspirational journey of a young girl into fearless womanhood guided by powerful deities along the way. We’ll meet Kali, the goddess of death and time who is also a strong mother figure; Saraswati, the goddess of learning, without whom we are only confusion; Parvati, goddess of love, power and renewal, who can embody many forms when her emotions overtake her. Astrology, spirituality and beauty come together as a gift from the universe to help navigate love, loss, death and life.
Complete with beautiful hand-drawn illustrations, this book weaves ancient tales into a potent tonic for our times.
A Portable Paradise
Roger Robinson, Peepal Tree Press, £9.99
Afua Hirsch calls Robinson ‘the voice of our communal consciousness’ and his latest collection has been greatly lauded, winning both the TS Eliot Prize and the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize.
A Portable Paradise is a powerful exploration of grief and survival, depicting the racism, inequality and injustice of modern Britain in its many forms. These poems are powered by more than just anger: the tenderness of the portraits of Grenfell survivors, the joy as well as the pain he evokes in family life and the incisive subtlety of his imagery make Robinson a bright light in contemporary poetry.
My Darling From the Lions
Rachel Long, Picador, £10.99
The poems in My Darling from the Lions form a beautiful and expansive archive of growing up in London as a young mixed heritage woman. A narrative collection in three parts, it threads experiences of the learning and unlearning of shame, the body, sex, faith, Blackness, lineage, prophecy and healing. Rachel Long’s strong, soulful, wise and weary voice sings through the collection, with striking confidence for a debut collection. These are poems for now, and poems you will be desperate to press into the hands of others.
Rachel Long is an essential and dazzling new voice.
Forward Book of Poetry 2021
Chosen by the judges of the Forward Prizes 2020, Faber & Faber, £9.99
Even in the most extraordinary year, the Forward Prizes – run like, National Poetry Day, by the Forward Arts Foundation – can be trusted to bring us ‘some of the most exciting new work in international poetry and to suggest the great variety of what is being published right now in Great Britain and Ireland’. Here you’ll find selections from the collections shortlisted for the 2020 Forward Prizes alongside highly commended work.
During the crises of 2020 people increasingly turned to poetry, leading Vanity Fair to declare poetry was ‘having a moment’. ‘Poetry had a moment that lasted through both world wars,’ counters Forward jury chair Alexandra Harris: ‘It has a moment whenever there is pressure and threat, and whenever we want to think carefully – together or individually.’
Tell Me the Truth About Life
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Day, Tell Me the Truth About Life is an indispensable anthology which celebrates poetry’s power to tap into the truths that matter. Curated and introduced by Cerys Matthews, this collection features poems nominated for their insight into truth by a range of ordinary and extraordinary people.