Category Archives: Blog

Nikita Gill: poetry is essential for children

June 24, 2022

Each year the CLiPPA (CLPE Children’s Poetry Award) celebrates the best new published poetry for children. Ahead of the announcement of this year’s winner at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on Friday 8 July, one of the judges – NPD ambassador Nikita Gill – judge for this year reflects on the importance of the…

In the Land of…

April 26, 2022

The shortlist for the 2022 CLiPPA (CLPE Children’s Poetry Award) will be announced very soon on Wednesday 4 May at Manchester Poetry Library at Manchester Metropolitan University. Ahead of that announcement, chair of the judges, Philip Gross shares his reflections on what the shortlist says about contemporary poetry for children here (without giving the shortlist…

Shadowing the CLiPPA

November 19, 2021

Headteacher Sonia Thompson describes what taking part in the Shadowing Scheme for the CLiPPA meant to her school and its pupils. I first heard about CLPE some years ago and signed up for the CLPE newsletter. The CLiPPA (CLPE Children’s Poetry Award) caught my eye, because at St Matthew’s we love teaching poetry, and we…

Jacqueline Saphra on the value of poetry

November 19, 2021

This is an extract from ‘Keep Ithaka Always in Your Mind: On the Journey and the Value of Poetry’ by Jacqueline Saphra which appears in Why I Write Poetry edited by Ian Humphreys (Nine Arches Press). Jacqueline describes the value of poetry and how it provides us with a kind of nourishment. The value of poetry to…

History and Love: On Writing a National Poetry Day Villanelle

October 6, 2021

My National Poetry Day villanelle, ‘May 8th, 2020’ takes its title from the 75th Anniversary of World War Two’s Victory in Europe Day. In my poem, I have depicted Britain as a nation of love and harm. This is a duality that is felt by myself and many other Britons of Colour. This emotional tension…

Why we chose to share ‘The Story of Squiddly Diddly’ by Theodora Shillito

September 15, 2021

Natasha Ryan from the Poetry Society explains why they chose to share the poem ‘The Story of Squiddly Diddly’ by Theodora Shillito – a commended poet in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020. When The Poetry Society was invited to contribute an educational resource for National Poetry Day, we decided to use…

Why we chose to share ‘Drifted Away, Together’ by Jacob Hill

September 14, 2021

Jessica Fear from First Story explains why they chose to share the poem ‘Drifted Away, Together’ by Jacob Hill who took part in their creative-writing programme.  The theme of choice is deliciously broad. It is, of course, something we generally take to be positive: more choices are good, fewer choices are bad. Choice is freedom….

Why we chose to share ‘More Pointless Questions’ by John Agard

September 14, 2021

Charlotte Hacking from the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) explains why they chose to share the poem ‘More Pointless Questions’ by John Agard. This poem links perfectly to the National Poetry Day theme of Choice, as it is all about the potential impact of the choices we make as humans on the natural…

Ten Troika Poets Collaborate for National Poetry Day 2021

September 14, 2021

As National Poetry Day is upon us in less than a month (7 October), we are excited to share some fun children’s resources in collaboration with Troika Books that will make your National Poetry Day the best.    Troika Books is a small independent children’s book publisher set up in 2019, who publish a wide…

Life & Rhymes

November 5, 2020

The UK’s first ever spoken word TV show for a major broadcaster aired last night, but for its associate producer and co-creator Isaac Nartey, an Information Systems graduate that ultimately chose a direction far outside his field of study, this has been a long time coming, his relationship with poetry having been sparked, like many…

Poetry of the Everyday

October 8, 2020

Poet Rhian Edwards discusses using the seemingly mundane ‘everyday’ aspects of life and relationships to create poems that resonate on a deeper level.   It was never my intention to write about the ‘everyday’, but I’ve always tried to write ‘what I know’. And sadly I’m the only subject where I wield any authority. I…

BBC Local Radio for NPD 2020

October 3, 2020

BBC Local Radio stations celebrate five years of #BBCLocalPoets by inspiring listeners to create their own poems for National Poetry Day – and uploading them via BBC Upload.   Kate Clanchy, poet, teacher, and author of How to Grow Your Own Poem will be providing creative inspiration today for anyone who’s ever wanted to put pen…

To celebrate National Poetry Day, BT presents a poem by Simon Armitage.

October 1, 2020

BT and Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage unveil “Something Clicked” a reflection of life in 2020 to mark National Poetry Day Read the full poem text here. – In a special collaboration, BT partners with Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage to create “Something Clicked”, a poem reflecting on life in the UK in 2020 – BT to…

NATION CALLED TO VERSE ON NATIONAL POETRY DAY

October 1, 2020

Read the press release here. Read coverage in the Bookseller here. * HRH Prince of Wales shares favourite Wordsworth lines New Margaret Atwood poem launches nationwide competition Benjamin Zephaniah says: ‘Poetry saved my life’ English Heritage turns to poetry to tell the Untold Stories of its 400 sites BBC Local Radio stations invite nation to…

Benjamin Zephaniah

Why National Poetry Day matters

September 30, 2020

Benjamin Zephaniah has been a supporter of and advocate for National Poetry Day since it began in 1994. But his relationship with poetry goes back far further than that. Between filming commitments for a new poetry-based TV show (more to be announced on that shortly) and work surrounding the publication of his latest novel, Windrush…

Untold Stories: Poetry at English Heritage

September 29, 2020

Untold Stories: Poetry at English Heritage was a programme for autumn 2020, curated in collaboration with Jacob Sam-La Rose, English Heritage’s Poet in Residence. Launching on National Poetry Day (1 October), Untold Stories helped to explore the hidden histories and contemporary resonances of English Heritage sites. The programme included some of England’s best poets, both…

William Sieghart

From our Founder

September 25, 2020

William Sieghart CBE, the founder of National Poetry Day and the charity behind it, the Forward Arts Foundation, tells how his initiative has grown and how poetry’s reception has changed since 1994.   Nearly 30 years ago, I started National Poetry Day with the dream of championing our nation’s love for poetry and highlighting its…

Send a poetry card

September 23, 2020

In today’s world, we’ve never been more in need of meaningful connection. Lines of poetry on a postcard, chosen and sent by a friend, are a reminder of the connections that matter – and it is a great way to be part of National Poetry Day and support our work. “The TouchNote platform is a…

The 24 Hour Poetry Lock In

September 21, 2020

Based on her well-loved #LeenasLockIn, poet and book vlogger Leena Norms hosted 24 hours of live poetry write-alongs, readings and poetry chat on Instagram Live @leenanorms. The epic online festival featured talks from favourite poets, prompts, workshops, a Young Poet’s Showcase introduced by Raymond Antrobus (part of the Poetry Possibility series) and even a midnight…

Does Humour Belong In Poetry?

September 17, 2020

Poet A. F. Harrold enters our blog this week to discuss using humour in poetry.   I have a theory. If you’re ever stuck for a way to end a poem or a story or a blog post or a conversation, simply mention the duck that’s just walked in and no one will worry that…

Poetry Day Live Draw

September 16, 2020

With Chris Riddell & poets Brian Bilston & Khushi Daryani in partnership with Macmillan Children’s Books. For National Poetry Day, former Children’s Laureate, Observer political cartoonist, poetry lover, award-winning writer and illustrator, Chris Riddell OBE, took viewers on a visual journey by live-illustrating a selection of his favourite poems from his new poetry anthology, Poems To Save…

Poetry Bubbles

September 10, 2020

Susannah Herbert is the Executive Director of Forward Arts Foundation, the charity that promotes knowledge and enjoyment of poetry through National Poetry Day and the Forward Prizes for Poetry. She stepped into the Children’s Poetry Summit blog recently to offer helpful tips on how to overcome that initial fear of what to do for National…

How Poetry (and Semi-Rural South Wales) Saved Me

August 20, 2020

Poet and teacher Marvin Thompson was born in north London to Jamaican parents and now teaches English in mountainous south Wales. Here he describes coming to terms with this transition and the inevitable feelings of isolation and otherness, explaining how poetry helped him to explore the intersectionality of these experiences and his pride in his…

Why I love libraries

July 9, 2020

The screenwriter, comedian and poet Henry Normal, co-creator of Mrs Merton and The Royle Family, reckons BAFTAs, Oscar nominations and celebrity are all very well, but it’s libraries that changed his life. He names them here, with love.   I have a vivid memory of going into a public library in the early sixties. I…

National Poetry Day announces new book trade promotion for 2020

July 9, 2020

Our list of recommended reads for National Poetry Day is its biggest ever this year: 40 gorgeous new poetry books for all ages and stages to read, listen to and share. More than 20 publishers feature in the selection, which celebrates the diversity of poetry publishing with gorgeously illustrated new anthologies for children and adults,…

LOCKDOWN LAWYERS – a Pandemic of Poetry

July 2, 2020

Jon Whitfield QC tells the story behind the poetry collection written by legal-aid lawyers struggling to deliver justice for all.   Imprisoned by Skype Half-dressed jocularity Invoicing dwindles As a lawyer specialising in cases of homicide, terrorism, fraud, corruption and mental health, I’m used to the kind of emails that set the mind whirring. But…

Sparking A Poetry Fire In Your School

June 25, 2020

Six great reasons for teachers to heed the NPD call to Share A Poem   Around eighteen months ago, inspired by the work of Kate Clanchy and Leeds Young Authors, I shared two versions of a poem called ‘I come from…’ with my year 8 students. We didn’t analyse them or write any PEEL paragraphs,…

Poetry Writing for National Writing Day

June 19, 2020

National Writing Day is the annual celebration of the pleasure and power of writing creatively, inspiring people of all ages and abilities to try writing for fun and self-expression. This year, we have two poetry resources to help you write Vision themed poems. The first is from poet and National Poetry Day Ambassador, James Carter…

LIGHTING THE SPARK: Three Childrens’ Poets Share Their Secrets

June 16, 2020

Children love poetry, when they get a chance to hear it and make it. Three National Poetry Day ambassadors with years of classroom experience tell us what works for them – and what to do when inspiration fails.   HOW TO MOTIVATE STUDENTS: READ A POEM ALOUD DAILY Matt Goodfellow   It’s my belief that…

Verse novels – a gateway drug?

June 9, 2020

When teacher Louisa Reid turned to verse to tell the story of a bullied teenage girl saved through her love of boxing, she was fuelled by memories of her own childhood addiction. She writes here about the background to her new YA novel, Gloves Off (Guppy Books, £9.99).   I’ve always been a fan of…

Side by side with our selves

April 30, 2020

Poet Julia Copus was asked to find 100 poems written in English throughout the ages that would somehow comfort their readers. Here’s what she discovered about herself, about others and the “little things around” in the process of creating her great anthology Life Support: 100 Poems to Reach for on Dark Nights (Head of Zeus,…

#haiflu

April 23, 2020

Mapping the lockdown – in crowd-sourced haiku Project Haiflu is a spectacular collective act of poetry, photograph, music and film involving more than 8,000 crowd-sourced haiku, more than 500 “citizen artists”, 13 films and a newly-minted hybrid artform uniquely adapted to the nation’s creative needs during pandemic: it’s been featured on BBC Radio 4’s Today…

#Haiflu – the next steps

March 31, 2020

Liv Torc, #BBCLocalPoet 2019 for BBC Radio Somerset, asked her friends to tell her how they were feeling, in the form of a haiku. Her invention, the Haiflu, has inspired thousands of witty, moving takes on the lockdown experience – and now you can join in too: just tag your creations #haiflu so we can…

Poetry Summit 2020

March 19, 2020

Laura Mucha, the former lawyer turned poet and author, kindly steps into our blog with a review of The Poetry-Digital Connection: what can poetry and digital do better together? a joint Forward Arts Foundation & Inpress Poetry Summit, which was held on Wednesday 11th March 2020 at the CLPE library.   It never ceases to…

Forward Prizes for Poetry 2019

October 24, 2019

The winners of the 2019 Forward Prizes for Poetry have been announced. Read the press release here. You can also read the announcement in the Guardian and the Bookseller.

The Prince of Wales reads Bernard Levin’s ‘Quoting Shakespeare’ for National Poetry Day

October 10, 2019

The Prince of Wales marked the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Day by recording a reading of Bernard Levin’s ‘Quoting Shakespeare’. The composition explores the everyday use of Shakespeare’s phrases. The reading was broadcast on the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show on 3rd October, National Poetry Day 2019. Introducing the piece, The Prince said: I would like…

Celebrating Rhyming Picture Books

October 7, 2019

A blog from Keilly Swift, Managing Editor of First News, an award-winning national UK newspaper for children, on the importance of picture books in children’s introduction to poetry and rhyming. Bonus poem kindly written just for us!   Writing and reading text in rhyme brings me such a lot of joy. From a little girl…

Poets celebrate Home Truths for National Poetry Day

October 3, 2019

An elephant evacuee, the meaning of “croggy” and “siles”, and the secret missions of baby eels: an England-wide call-out to BBC Local Radio listeners for significant stories, observations and truths that illuminate the places we call home has inspired 13 new poems for the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Day on October 3rd. Find out…

BBC Local Radio for NPD 2019

October 2, 2019

In 2019, we joined forces to challenge stereotypes and celebrate the delights of the different regions that together compose the United Kingdom.   BBC Local Radio stations, prompted by National Poetry Day’s Truth theme, invited listeners to tackle lazy cliches by sharing truths about the places where they live, the kinds of truths that deserve…

The power of making poetry together

October 1, 2019

Almost four years ago I was invited to join illustrator Jane Ray at Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants in the art and writing class.  We needed to work across language, history, religion, culture, conflict, trauma and uprootedness and it was my instinct to open the communal listening ear, to build word-hoards and make poetry…

Rudyard Kipling, Truth & Fiction

September 26, 2019

A blog by Andrew Lycett, literary biographer and contributor to new TV documentary Rudyard Kipling: A Secret Life   As a trained journalist with a powerful imagination, Kipling was much exercised by the nature of truth. Having reported from India and observed the machinations of British politics, he was fully aware that truth was an…

Shakespeare and Truth

September 25, 2019

Allie Esiri, Editor of Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year, explores moments of truth throughout Shakespeare’s work.   Following my anthologies A Poem for Every Night of the Year and A Poem for Every Day of the Year, I have spent the last three years (and a lifetime) researching our greatest poet for my…

Let’s share poetry with the very young

September 25, 2019

This little poem they can’t take away, No one can tell me a poem can’t play Celia Warren Rhiannon Findlay, Editor of Poems Out Loud, explains why sharing poetry with the very young is good for everyone. Whether it’s wild, wacky and whimsical or thought provoking and beautiful, poetry can play a huge yet sometimes…

National Poetry Day and UNESCO Year of Indigenous Languages

September 20, 2019

2019 was the UNESCO Year of Indigenous Languages. We teamed up with our partners at Scottish Poetry Library and Literature Wales to bring you these ‘truth’ poems in Manx, Cornish, Welsh, Scots, and Gaelic, alongside their English translations.                           The poems are available from…

Dazzle Gradually: A Poetry Anthology for Businesses

September 18, 2019

Make the most of National Poetry Day in your office: share poetry with your colleagues! Heaven knows, working in an office isn’t easy, and no-one gets on with their colleagues all the time. Add in the stress of budgets and deadlines, and those afternoons when the WiFi goes down, and it’s a wonder any of…

Tony Walsh

Take This Pen

September 16, 2019

Be inspired by Tony Walsh’s poem, ‘Take This Pen’, to speak your truth in a poem. Share this video and inspire others: it doesn’t matter who you are, or what you are, poetry creates a space where you can speak your truth. The film, with illustrations from artist Chris Riddell, was created to inspire entrants…

Poetry Booksellers Love

September 9, 2019

To celebrate National Poetry Day’s 25th anniversary, the Booksellers Association and Forward Arts Foundation are pleased to announce Poetry Booksellers Love, a list of 25 favourite poetry books from the last 25 years as nominated and voted for by booksellers in the UK and Ireland. The list includes anthologies and single-author collections, poetry for children,…

The Poetry that Booksellers Love

September 9, 2019

Discover the 25 favourite poetry books of the last 25 years chosen by booksellers   To celebrate National Poetry Day’s 25th anniversary in 2019, the Booksellers Association and Forward Arts Foundation joined together to announce Poetry Booksellers Love, a list of 25 favourite poetry books from the last 25 years as nominated and voted for…

Why learning Poetry Together is good for us

September 6, 2019

In this blog, author and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth explains how his new Poetry Together initiative is connecting young and old and the benefits for both age groups.   Can the so-called Generation Z that is typically immersed in computer games and gadgets find a way to communicate with their grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ generation? And can…

Speak Your Truth Poem

September 2, 2019

Congratulations to our #SpeakYourTruthPoem winner, Rami Yasir! Rami has won a £500 cash prize as well as a day’s mentoring at YouTube Studios in London. When asked for their inspiration when writing The Story of my Children, Rami said “I’m interested in how we turn trauma and ugly things into art we call beautiful. I’m…

Truth-telling in Primary Schools

August 15, 2019

In this blog poet, storyteller and teacher Pie Corbett suggests ways to encourage key stage 2 children to start sharing their own poetry on the theme of Truth.   We could start by playing with the truth in order to confess. Use a repeating phrase like a coat-hanger for playful ideas: The truth is, no…

When children and teachers retreat into poetry

August 15, 2019

Jonny Walker runs Otherwise Education, a creative learning organisation that works with schools on collaborative writing, poetry and oracy projects. The OtherWise Poetry Retreats this year, led by Jonny and Adisa the Verbaliser, are embracing the 2019 National Poetry Day theme of Truth.   “I have my own ways of doing stuff and I don’t…

Places of Poetry

August 15, 2019

Your places, your poems, our national story Places of Poetry, supported in 2019 by National Poetry Day, was the success-story of the summer within the poetry world in England and Wales. The project invited writers to pin poems of place, heritage and identity to a distinctive digital map, which attracted more than 6500 poems by…

Lancashire #HomeTruths for BBC Radio Local Poets

August 9, 2019

Think it’s grim up North? #BBCLocalPoet Jane Routh and the listeners to BBC Radio Lancashire would beg to differ… A tempting preview of the poem Jane is writing for our #HomeTruths.   I’m delighted to be a #BBCLocalPoet, commemorating my home county of Lancashire in response to listener comments and recommendations, and I’ve just checked…

I Never Thought I Was Going to Write a Novel

August 5, 2019

Dean Atta’s verse novel The Black Flamingo is one of our National Poetry Day books recommendations. Learn how he came to write the book below.   It’s 7.32pm on Thursday 1st August 2019. It’s one week before the book launch for my debut novel, The Black Flamingo. This time next week I’ll be welcoming family…

Poetry and Kids Arm In Arm In Arm In Arm In….

July 25, 2019

In this blog, author Zaro Weil, discusses children’s connection with poetry and how we can continue to encourage and engage their creativity. Zaro’s latest poetry collection, Cherry Moon, features as part of our 2019 recommended poetry reading lists.   I think there are several key ways in which poetry and children not just walk arm…

Speaking the Unspeakable through Poetry

July 25, 2019

  In this blog, writer and poet, Seni Seneviratne, reflects on how poetry can be used to express emotion and traumas, that may otherwise be difficult to communicate. Seni’s latest poetry collection, Unknown Soldier, features as part of our 2019 recommended poetry reading lists.   In 2009 I was funded by a Winston Churchill Travel…

The Children’s Poetry Archive has launched!

July 25, 2019

‘ A treasure trove of wonderful poems for children available all round the clock for anyone and everyone.‘ Michael Rosen Our friends at the Poetry Archive have just launched this fantastic new resource The Children’s Poetry Archive featuring our very own National Poetry Day ambassador Micheal Rosen as Patron! Find out more from the press…

National Poetry Day @ 25 Years

July 22, 2019

This year National Poetry Day marks its 25th anniversary with a mass campaign highlighting poetry’s power to touch on truth – whether intimate or on the grand scale. The ‘In Poetry, Truth’ campaign, which culminates on Thursday 3 October with thousands of poetry events across the UK, is supported by poetry champion and broadcaster Cerys…

Spike Milligan and me

June 28, 2019

Poet A.F. Harrold remembers his first encounter with poetry, and Spike Milligan’s Silly Verse for Kids.   I still have the copy of Silly Verse for Kids I had forty years ago, and it was second hand and tatty even then (the price on the back, 2/6). Now it is like sheets of dust, pressed…

Copyright: Do You Know The Basics?

June 24, 2019

Copyright is crucial. Huge thanks therefore to our friends at ALCS (Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Agency) who have created this useful guide for poets. COPYRIGHT: DO YOU KNOW THE BASICS? Baffled by copyright? Want to know where you can find more information about your rights as a writer? Copyright should be a simple concept –…

National Poetry Day and BBC Local Radio commission 13 new #HomeTruths

June 10, 2019

National Poetry Day and BBC Local Radio have joined forces to challenge stereotypes and celebrate the delights of the different regions that together compose the United Kingdom. From today, Monday 10 June, leading with National Poetry Day’s 2019 theme of Truth, BBC Local Radio stations from Derby to Devon, Lancashire to London are inviting listeners…

Hidden Voices Poetry Competition 2019

June 4, 2019

Joanna Miller is a former English teacher and subject adviser. She is the founder of Bespoke Verse, which offers a variety of poetry related gifts, including a ‘Print Your Words’ service for customers’ original work and favourite poetry quotations.To mark National Poetry Day’s 25th anniversary, Bespoke Verse is running Hidden Voices, a special competition for…

Learning from Ledbury

April 8, 2019

How to set up a poetry festival? Ledbury is a lively and picturesque market town, close to the Malvern Hills.  With its black and white architecture, gorgeous setting, pubs and cafes it’s a lovely place to visit. But what makes Ledbury famous is its poetry festival. Each July Ledbury hosts a 10 day poetry festival,…

How to set up your own poetry group

March 28, 2019

  Staffordshire is one of the most poetry friendly counties in the UK and their library service has put poetry at the heart of its offer to users. Catherine Mann, Staffordshire Libraries and Arts Manager, has now put together a tip sheet on founding your own library poetry group.   1. Target membership at around…

National Poetry Day: In Poetry, Truth

March 1, 2019

National Poetry Day marks its 25th anniversary this year with a mass participation campaign highlighting poetry’s power to forge community – whether intimate or on the grand scale – by celebrating words that touch on truth. The campaign – which culminates on Thursday October 3rd with thousands of poetry events across the UK – is…

Write a Poem for your Valentine

February 13, 2019

Award-winning poet and National Poetry Day Ambassador Joseph Coelho has found the way to your true love’s heart (and maybe a lifetime of poetry writing too). Read on!   The most amorous day of the year is upon us. Valentines Day is a day of heart-thumping joy for some and bitter-filled resentment for others. Whatever…

Raymond Antrobus Poet of the Fair London Book Fair 2019

February 11, 2019

As sales of poetry hit record levels in the UK, the London Book Fair (Olympia 12th – 14th March) is set to explore poetry as the medium of the moment, with a host of special seminar sessions, debates and discussions. For the second year running the LBF is appointing a Poet of the Fair and…

Betjeman Poetry Prize Partnership

December 5, 2018

As National Poetry Day celebrates its 25th anniversary, we are delighted to announce a new partnership with The Betjeman Poetry Prize. The Betjeman Poetry Prize is a charity working to promote literacy, foster creativity and provide a platform for new voices, via its annual poetry competition plus a creative learning programme in schools and holiday…

Ysgol y Deri’s ‘We Are Writers’ book published for National Poetry Day!

November 28, 2018

As part of their celebrations for National Poetry Day, Penarth school Ysgol y Deri (YYD) published a special ‘We Are Writers’ poetry book to showcase the talent of its pupils and raise funds for the school. Rebecca Jones, one of YYD’s teachers and the school’s Reading Champion, told us: “Every pupil in the school was…

Poetry for a Change: Exploring the new National Poetry Day Anthology

October 18, 2018

Karen Morris, Senior Lecturer in Primary English, Department of Children, Education and Communities, Edge Hill University, explores Poetry for a Change, the new National Poetry Day Anthology. There are really positive insights on children’s enjoyment of poetry from a recent online survey for National Poetry Day (A Thing That Makes Me Happy: National Literacy Trust,…

National Poetry Day at 25: Tell Me the Truth About Life

October 10, 2018

National Poetry Day and Michael O’Mara announce poetry call-out for a 25th anniversary collection In a new partnership, Michael O’Mara Books and The Forward Arts Foundation are to publish a collection of poetry to celebrate National Poetry Day’s 25th anniversary in October 2019. Curated and introduced by poetry lover and BBC presenter Cerys Matthews, Tell…

Books Are My Bag – poets pick their favourite bookshops

October 6, 2018

Books Are My Bag is a nationwide campaign to celebrate bookshops. We asked 7 poets to choose their favourite bookshop, and to let us know what’s in their bag today. Ian Duhig‘s favourite bookshop is ‘Waterstones in Leeds, really because of all the events they’ve put on over the years that I have so mch…

Practical Cats and Inconsequential Dogs

October 4, 2018

Why has Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats had to wait so long – almost 80 years – for a canine companion? There may be a number of reasons. T.S. Eliot himself, a cat lover writing for the cat-loving children of friends, had no equivalent fondness for dogs; he seems, in fact, to have rather…

Comfort/Conflict zones – poetry in military training

October 4, 2018

Lieutenant David Boyles discusses how the British Army is increasingly reading poetry to develop the ‘thinking soldier’ comfortable with creative problem solving and ambiguity on the modern battlefield. For many people, ‘military poetry’ conjures up sepia tone Tommies or National Gallery generals: somewhere between ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’, Rupert Brooke’s ‘The Soldier’, or…

Poetry is the UK’s new force for change

October 4, 2018

New research finds that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to engage in poetry A new National Literacy Trust report, A Thing That Makes Me Happy: Young People and Poetry 2018, published today, 4th October 2018, reveals that almost half of the 2,948 young people surveyed (46% or 1,537) said they turn to poetry…

Bradford Poets Celebrate National Poetry Day on the Big Screen

October 3, 2018

Poets of all ages and backgrounds gathered together this year for a studio filming session facilitated by Bradford UNESCO City of Film and Bradford Libraries. The result is 24 exciting short films – with poets using dramatic backgrounds, lighting and props to bring their poetry to life for the screen. The subject matter is as…

Doctor Wha – Film Poem

October 3, 2018

What’s a better example of change and stability than Doctor Who? The Doctor is over 2000 years old and still counting birthdays, and yet they’re capable of changing their face, personality, fashion sense, gender… As we know, the Doctor’s TARDIS affects the brains of its passengers so they can speak and understand all the languages and dialects…

The Impact of Poetry

October 3, 2018

“A thing that makes me happy” Young people turn to poetry in new ways A fresh report from the National Literary Trust, commissioned by Forward Arts Foundation, shows how – and to what extent – young people are turning to poetry in their free time. Almost half of those 8-18 year olds surveyed engage with poetry in…

Can poetry help our children fix the future? by Simon Mole

September 19, 2018

Simon Mole is a poet, emcee and theatre maker. He has over 10 years’ experience working with rap and poetry in community and education settings, including projects with Great Ormond Street Hospital and Arsenal FC. In this special blog for National Poetry Day he suggests that poetry can help our children fix the future. It…

Finalists of the 2018 Betjeman Poetry Prize

September 17, 2018

Congratulations to the six young people who have been announced as the finalists in the 2018 Betjeman Poetry Prize. They are: Sadhbh Barclay Ní Dhaighre (11) from Gaelscoil na Cruaiche, Co. Mayo, Ireland Jan Borysiak (13) from Oxford Spires Academy, Oxford Ide Crawford (12) from Macclesfield (home-schooled) Charlotte Harris (13) from The Mary Erskine School,…

Macmillan Children’s Poetry – celebrating twenty-five years

September 11, 2018

Gaby Morgan is Editorial Director at Macmillan Children’s Books and responsible for their poetry programme. On the twenty-fifth anniversary of their poetry publishing for children, she has a lot to celebrate. In the summer of 1993 Macmillan Children’s Books published two slim anthologies – Doin Mi Ed In – Rap Poems chosen by David Orme…

Ana Sampson introduces Formidable Female Poets to Discover this National Poetry Day

September 7, 2018

In previous centuries, many women wrote and published – when they were able to publish – in defiance of social, educational and financial constraints, and their work was often condemned, mocked or simply overlooked. Anthologies tended to represent only a handful of female voices, and always the same few. This National Poetry Day, says Ana…

Poetry For a Change Anthology

September 5, 2018

“makes for fascinating reading and gives an excellent insight into what lies behind the poems we enjoy and their writers.” Parents in Touch “packed with an exciting variety of poems for children by a top team of fantastic poets.” BookTrust “Irresistible, for all ages.” Guardian Poetry For a Change is our brand new National Poetry…

Chie Hosaka

September 4, 2018

Meet the artist responsible for our 2019 In Poetry, Truth look. We are really pleased with our new TRUTH logo and designs, and hope you agree that they are fresh and gorgeous to look at, and capture the essence of truth and ambiguity that poetry does well. They have been created by illustrator Chie Hosaka. Chie…

Any Change? Poetry in a Hostile Environment

September 4, 2018

“In an increasingly hostile environment for migrant communities, it’s important to make connections for mutual support”, says Ian Duhig, and what better way to explore such connections than through poetry? With support from the Forward Arts Foundation and the David Oluwale Memorial Association, Ian ran a series of poetry workshops in Leeds, bringing together members…

Joseph Coelho BBC Teach

Warm-up for the BBC Teach Poetry Live Lesson, with poet Joseph Coelho!

September 4, 2018

Poetry is getting its own BBC Teach Live Lesson and Joseph Coelho couldn’t be more excited. On National Poetry Day, 4th October, he’ll be online, live with the brilliant BBC Presenter Katie Thistleton helping schools up and down the country get funky with poetry! Find out more, and get your poetry brain in gear with Joe’s special black-out poetry…

‘I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree’

September 4, 2018

We are excited to celebrate the publication of I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree, a wonderful collection edited by Fiona Waters and published by Nosy Crow. This delightful collection is perfect for children looking to explore more of what poetry has to offer, and is modelled after a collection loved by many as children….

Join the UK’s biggest classroom at 2pm on National Poetry Day

August 20, 2018

BBC Live Lessons, the UK’s biggest classroom, is hosting a special event at 2pm on National Poetry Day, Thursday 4th October. Featuring poetry reading, performances, and critical analysis of similes and metaphor, this free interactive show will broadcast live into schools across the UK. It will be led by award-winning performance poet, author and National…

Subject to Change topical poems from the Barbican Young Poets

August 2, 2018

What do we know today, and what are the unknowns of tomorrow? Subject to Change at the Barbican invites twelve young poets to speak to our changing world, one for every month of 2018. Part of the Barbican’s 2018 Season, The Art of Change, which explores how artists respond to, reflect and can potentially effect…

Limpsfield Grange School – A Blog Post by Rachel Rooney

June 27, 2018

A few years ago I chanced upon a TV documentary about Limpsfield Grange School ( a unique residential secondary school for 11-16 year old girls with autism).  I was very taken by the work done there, and the cohort of refreshingly individual pupils who attended. And, although I’m an experienced special needs teacher (and the…

Karl Nova CLiPPA Winner 2018

June 25, 2018

Poet Karl Nova has won the CLiPPA 2018 for his debut collection, Rhythm and Poetry, published by Caboodle Books. Grace Nichols, Poet and Chair of the CLiPPA 2018 judges said of the winning book: “This book really stood out for me with its refreshing use of the rap genre, its musicality, its immediacy and thoughtful…

Change Films for Young People

June 22, 2018

‘Progress’ by John Agard (Resource link: https://bit.ly/2HkK5WR)   ‘A Love Letter to the Stars’ by Ruth Awolola (Resource link: https://bit.ly/2xHfnr6)   ‘The Duelling Duo’ by Joseph Coelho (Resource link: https://bit.ly/2J2dEkJ)   ‘Moonrise’ by Sarah Crossan (Resource link: https://bit.ly/2sxuqPp)   ‘Hare’s Night Song’ by Sue Hardy-Dawson (Resource link: https://bit.ly/2JilzaC)   ‘Poetry?’ by Karl Nova (Resource link: https://bit.ly/2JqqEkv)

#PoetryForAChange – BBC Local Poets

June 17, 2018

Share stories, inspire poems From Monday 18th June, BBC Local Radio is teaming up with 12 specially chosen poets across England to create a dozen new poems for broadcast on National Poetry Day on October 4th. The theme this year is Change, so we are inviting everyone to suggest a change that deserves to be celebrated…

“URGENT, ENGAGED AND INSPIRATIONAL” THE SHORTLISTS 2018 FORWARD PRIZES FOR POETRY

May 24, 2018

Nuclear stand-off, new-born lambs, sex and Hollywood blockbusters, addiction – Britain’s most coveted poetry awards, the Forward Prizes for Poetry feature shortlists dominated by “urgent, engaged and inspirational” voices tackling complex subjects with brio. The chair of the 2018 jury, the writer, critic and broadcaster Bidisha, said: “In reading for this year’s Forward Prizes, the…

We are Writers – of poetry

May 14, 2018

Teachers, here’s a suggestion – turn your pupils into published poets and authors with We Are Writers. We Are Writers gives children the unique opportunity to see their writing printed in a real book. With We Are Writers, any child can become a published author or poet in a book they can treasure for years…

Poetry For a Change – a National Poetry Day anthology

May 14, 2018

We are delighted to announce the publication of a brand new National Poetry Day anthology. Otter-Barry Books will publish Poetry For a Change on 6th September, well in time for National Poetry Day. Poetry For a Change features original poems by each of the following poets: Deborah Alma, Joseph Coelho, Marjorie Lotfi Gill, Remi Graves…

Announcement of the 2018 CLiPPA shortlist

April 26, 2018

Our partners CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) have announced the shortlist for the 2018 CLiPPA, the children’s poetry award. Judges Grace Nichol, Kate Wakeling, Imogen Lycett Green, Charlotte Hacking and Anthony Anaxagorou have chosen these six great books: John Agard: The Rainmaker Danced, illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura, Hodder Ruth Awolola, Victoria Adukwei Bulley,…

Momtaza Mehri announced as London’s New Young People’s Laureate

April 12, 2018

Congratulations to 24-year-old Momtaza Mehri who has been named as London’s new Young People’s Laureate. Momtaza will work with Spread the Word for a year on youth-focused residencies across the capital and will front a tour in six outer London Boroughs: Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Kingston, Bromley, Redbridge and Sutton. In her new role, she…