About National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day is the annual mass celebration on the first Thursday of October that encourages everyone to make, experience and share poetry with family and friends.

Each year we come together because voices, words and stories help to bridge understanding in our community.

National Poetry Day generates an explosion of activity nationwide, thousands of amazing events across the UK – on doorsteps and at kitchen tables, in gardens and streets, in schools, libraries and public spaces both online and offline – all celebrating poetry’s power to bring people together. 

The Day starts conversations, it encourages love of language and, best of all, it’s open to absolutely everyone to join in. Whether quietly or noisily in rewarding and enjoyable ways. As the artform's most visible moment, it showcases the ways in which poetry adds value to society.


Why do we need National Poetry Day?

  • 66.5% of children and young people agreed that writing poetry made them feel better during lockdown. The National Literacy Trust (2020)
  • Poetry is an important vehicle to explore individual identity and the identity of others. CLPE The Power of Poetry (2017)
  • More than half of children and young people surveyed (54%) told us they do not currently engage with poetry. The National Literacy Trust (2018)
  • Poetry is the most common way for secondary students to encounter a Black, Asian or other minority ethnic author and single poems are the easiest texts to insert into the curriculum. The Runnymede Trust and Penguin Random House Lit in Colour Report (2020)


Our campaign aims are

  • To showcase new voices and celebrate diversity
  • To promote the vital role that poetry plays in all our lives – poetry has the power to bring people and communities together
  • To foster love of language and the sharing of poetry


National Poetry Day In Numbers

  •  Over the past 18 months people have turned to poetry in huge numbers. Visitors to the National Poetry Day website increased by 40% from the previous year.
  • 2.3 million people connected through Project #Haiflu, generating thousands of witty, moving haiku poems on the Coronavirus lockdown.
  • 660,000 students benefited from our teaching resources.
  • 44,000 Instagram users viewed our livestreamed 24-hour Poetry Lock-In.
  • 1,200 educators registered for Poetry Possibility, a series of teacher-training workshops supporting the delivery of poetry in schools.
  • Sales of poetry books rose by 33% in October.

With your support, we can create more resources for young people and support more young poets. Follow this link to make a contribution to our organiser, the Forward Arts Foundation. You can also contact us to see how your donations can help National Poetry Day raise awareness of the value and impact of poetry.

Did you know that whenever you buy anything online – from your weekly shop to your annual holiday – you could be raising free donations for Forward Arts Foundation with easyfundraising? There are over 4,000 shops and sites on board ready to make a donation – including eBay, Argos, John Lewis, ASOS, Booking.com and M&S – and it won’t cost you a penny extra to help us raise funds.


Our Partners

The literature and literacy partners who we work in partnership with


Events Near You

Find and register National Poetry Day events near you


Resources for Schools

Free teaching resources to introduce poetry to your class