About National Poetry Day

About National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day is a UK-wide celebration of poetry taking place on the first Thursday in October. Each year there’s a different theme and in 2019 the theme was 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. 2019 is the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Day and the celebrations have run all year long.

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.  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.

It would help us plan next year’s National Poetry Day celebrations if you could spend five minutes on our survey. There’s one for schools, one for libraries, one for bookshops and one for poetry event organisers. If there’s something you really want to tell us, drop us an email poetryday@forwardartsfoundation.org. Thank you!

With your support, we can create more resources for young people and support more young poets. Click the donate button above or 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 2020?
Thursday 1 October 2020

What is the theme of National Poetry Day 2020?
We’ll be revealing the theme for National Poetry Day 2020 soon! Watch this space.

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 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.