About National Poetry Day

About National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day is the annual mass celebration on the first Thursday of October that encourages all to enjoy, discover and share poetry. This year, National Poetry Day takes place on 7 October 2021, and the theme is Choice.

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, 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.

Find out more about National Poetry Day’s reach, impact and effect on poetry book sales with our 25th anniversary leaflet, downloadable here.

If you’re planning poetry in your school – reading, writing, performing – check out our range of resources. These are produced specially by our partners, and you’ll find lots to use, all for free. We also have a schools-focused challenge, #MyNPDPoem with inspiring videos and prompts and resources to help you participate. 

To keep up-to-date with news, competitions and special offers, make sure you sign-up for our newsletters.

Our Toolkit for Schools is yours for inspiration, any day of the week. 

If there’s something you really want to tell us, please get in touch.

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. All you need to do is click the image below.


When is National Poetry Day 2021?
Thursday 7 October 2021.

What is the theme of National Poetry Day 2021?
The theme this year is Choice! The strapline is Choose a Poem. 

What is the history of National Poetry Day?
National Poetry Day was founded in 1994 by the charity Forward Arts Foundation, whose mission is to celebrate excellence in poetry and increase its audience. The Day enjoys the support of the BBC, Arts Council England and leading literary and cultural organisations, alongside booksellers, publishers, libraries and schools.

Who can put on an event?
Anyone. We welcome events of all shapes and sizes, whether from individuals, groups or organisations. If you used our downloaded logos or posters, take pictures and put them on social media with the hashtag #NationalPoetryDay.

What does it cost?
It’s FREE. To list any public event on our website simply visit our Events page. You are welcome to charge for your event, but make sure you mention this when you list the event.

How do I list an event?
Scroll down to click on the map on the Join In page.

How do I find out more?
Learn more about our plans and offers by signing up to our mailing list, or if you have a question, contact us.

Who runs National Poetry Day?

National Poetry Day is an initiative of the Forward Arts Foundation, a charity that promotes public knowledge and enjoyment of poetry. We change lives by giving people the confidence to create and communicate, we support poets, and we strengthen local communities.

Our flagship programmes, National Poetry Day and the Forward Prizes for Poetry, enable all to enjoy, discover and share poetry as performers, writers, listeners and readers. 

Our poetry resources inspire hundreds of thousands each year to creative participation: we face increasing demand for our materials, particularly in areas of multiple deprivation. 

The needs we address are educational, social and artistic: 

Educational: We help schools to foster creativity, confidence and communication skills.
Social: We work with libraries, the BBC and other partners to reduce isolation and exclusion. 
Artistic: We support poets, both directly and by building audiences for their work.