About National Poetry Day

About National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day is a UK-wide celebration of poetry taking place every October. In 2018 the theme was Change. In 2019 the theme is Truth.

National Poetry Day generates an explosion of activity nationwide, thousands of amazing events across the UK – in schools, libraries, bookshops and hospitals, on buses, trains and boats – all celebrating poetry’s power to bring people together. Just look at our events listing to see what’s happening near you.

If you took part in the celebrations in 2018, we’d love to hear about it. Please email us poetryday@forwardartsfoundation.org, and please take a moment to fill in our survey too so that we can make next year’s National Poetry Day even better!

If you’re planning more poetry – reading, writing, performing – in your school, check out our new range of resources. These are produced specially by our partners and you’ll find lots to use, all for free.  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.


When is National Poetry Day 2019?
Thursday 3 October 2019

What is the theme of National Poetry Day 2019?
The theme for National Poetry Day 2019 is Truth.

What is National Poetry Day?
National Poetry Day is an annual celebration that inspires people throughout the UK to enjoy, discover and share poems. Everyone is invited to join in, whether by organising events, displays, competitions or by simply posting favourite lines of poetry on social media using #nationalpoetryday.

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, the Royal Mail 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 celebrates excellence in poetry and widens its audience. We bring together leading poetry, literacy and literary organisations around a shared purpose: promoting the enjoyment, discovery and sharing of poetry.

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 meant to kickstart inspiration rather than be prescriptive.