Category Archives: Blog

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:   ‘A Love Letter to the Stars’ by Ruth Awolola (Resource link:   ‘The Duelling Duo’ by Joseph Coelho (Resource link:   ‘Moonrise’ by Sarah Crossan (Resource link:   ‘Hare’s Night Song’ by Sue Hardy-Dawson (Resource link:   ‘Poetry?’ by Karl Nova (Resource link:

#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…


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…


March 23, 2018

The London Book Fair (LBF) is delighted to announce Imtiaz Dharker as its first ever Poet of the Fair. Imtiaz Dharker’s latest book, Luck Is the Hook, her sixth from Bloodaxe, is published next week. Imtiaz Dharker will be at the Fair on Wednesday 11 April and will be in conversation about her work in…

Keep reading, keep drawing, keep writing – and your imagination will expand

December 21, 2017

Well done to all the children who wrote a poem for the Imagine a Poem Competition run in association with Frances Lincoln Children’s Books and Amnesty International. We asked National Poetry Day Ambassador and artist Sophie Herxheimer to read and review them. Here’s what she had to say: ‘I very much enjoyed reading all the…

Imagine a Poem the competition winners

December 15, 2017

For National Poetry Day 2017 in association with Frances Lincoln and Amnesty International UK, we ran a special competition asking children to write a poem inspired by the theme of Freedom, and in particular John Lennon’s immortal song Imagine, which is now the basis for a beautiful picture book, illustrated by Jean Jullien. Thank you…

Imagine a Poem the competition winners

December 15, 2017

For National Poetry Day 2017 in association with Frances Lincoln and Amnesty International UK, we ran a special competition asking children to write a poem inspired by the theme of Freedom, and in particular John Lennon’s immortal song Imagine, which is now the basis for a beautiful picture book, illustrated by Jean Jullien. Thank you…

BBC Local Radio and National Poetry Day win SILVER at the ARIAS

October 25, 2017

BBC Local Radio and National Poetry Day have won Silver in the Best Branded content or partnerships category at the 2017 ARIAS – the Audio and Radio Industry Awards – which aims to recognise talent, innovation and excellence across the entire audio and radio industry. Awarded for their 2016 campaign, BBC Local Radio and National…


September 28, 2017

WIN NATIONAL POETRY DAY RECOMMENDED TITLES Tweet us your favourite poetry and use our hashtag #NationalPoetryDay to win 10 incredible poetry anthologies To celebrate National Poetry Day 2017, Thursday 28 September, we’re giving you the chance to win ten of our recommended poetry books. Be in the running to win the following incredible titles: Ten…

National Poetry Day 2017 & a mass outbreak of verse

September 28, 2017

National Poetry Day kicks off with the launch of a new BBC poetry and performance festival and report of a fresh boom in poetry book sales Dr John Cooper Clarke, Kate Tempest, Hollie McNish and Simon Armitage line up alongside a host of poets and spoken-word artists ready to enjoy, discover and share poetry 12…

National Poetry Day eBook

September 22, 2017

A free poetry anthology of wonderful poems – old and new – on the theme of “freedom”. 17 of the poets in this eBook – created by Macmillan Children’s Books with Forward Arts Foundation – are National Poetry Day Ambassadors. This crack team of poets are out on poetry business every day of the year,…

A Primary School Poetry Festival

September 6, 2017

National Poetry Day ran a week-long mini poetry festival in four Hull primary schools this year – and now you can do so too. All the participating children had the chance to write and perform their own poems. To learn more, just download the brilliant activities developed by five wonderful poets working with the students…

Recommended Publications 2017

September 6, 2017

In 2017 we teamed up with poetry publishers to create four lists of recommendations. You may not think you like poetry, but you that’s just because you haven’t met the right book yet… Browse the lists below, we’re sure you’ll find lots to appeal, whatever your tastes, and watch out for our recommended new collections…

National Poetry Day announces new 40-book trade promotion as ‘poetry is booming’

August 25, 2017

Poetry is booming! Last year marked the best sales on record for poetry books in both volume and value, and demand continues to grow. Poetry is now challenging prose on the bestseller lists, boosted by the popularity of both live and recorded performances and strong followings on Instagram and Twitter. Today, National Poetry Day, Britain’s…

BBC and National Poetry Day commission new poems around local words #freetheword

August 10, 2017

Cheeselog (a woodlouse), to geg in (to butt in) and fam (a familiar form of address for a friend) are among the distinctive local words that will be immortalised in 12 specially commissioned poems for this year’s National Poetry Day. These examples of regional dialect are among hundreds nominated by BBC Local Radio listeners as…

10% off Poetry Book Society school membership

August 3, 2017

‘The Poetry Book Society is a great place for discovery… I wish my school library had offered me such poets‘ – Gillian Clarke, GCSE Syllabus Poet and Former National Poet of Wales To celebrate National Poetry Day our partners the Poetry Book Society are offering 10% off all school memberships. Poetry Book Society school membership…

Congratulations Kate Wakeling! Winner of CLiPPA 2017

August 1, 2017

Congratulations Kate Wakeling, winner of the CLiPPA 2017 (CLPE Children’s Poetry Award) for her first collection for children, Moon Juice, illustrated by Elīna Brasliņa, published by The Emma Press. Rachel Rooney, Poet and Chair of the CLiPPA 2017 judges praised the winning book; ‘Moon Juice is a book brimming with surprises. Some of the poems…

Celebrating National Poetry Day 2017: Contains Strong Language

July 25, 2017

Contains Strong Language, a poetry festival representing the hugely vibrant mix of poetry in the UK today will kick off celebrations for National Poetry Day 2017. Taking place in Hull and running from National Poetry Day, 28th September to 1st October, Contains Strong Language will be accompanied by a season of programmes across BBC TV,…

National Poetry Day Schools Festival in Hull

July 14, 2017

This year, National Poetry Day will be launched from Hull, in honour of its status as city of culture. Hull, with its proud abolitionist history, via celebrated son William Wilberforce, is also behind this year’s NPD theme: FREEDOM. In May, the Hull No Limits Learning team invited National Poetry Day to run a poetry festival…

Channel 4 and National Poetry Day 2016

June 20, 2017

Guest continuity announcers took over Channel 4’s on-air continuity on 6th October 2016 as the broadcaster celebrated National Poetry Day.  The clips below feature Vahni Capildeo, Nancy Campbell and Devika Seasons. Also featured are eighteen-year-old Vivien Urban, from Hungary and nineteen-year-old Shukria Rezaei from Afghanistan. After moving to the UK at the ages of 11 (Vivien) and…

BBC Local Poets in 2016

June 20, 2017

BBC Local Radio and the Forward Arts Foundation, along with the 40 stations of BBC local radio in England, marked National Poetry Day 2016 by each broadcasting a poem commissioned from 40 #BBCLocalPoets. Each poet adopted the voice of a characteristic local landmark or mascot: from Lincolnshire sausage (Gemma Baker, BBC Radio Lincolnshire) to Essex’s infamous A12…

Quote Cards 2016

June 20, 2017

We’ve created 16 shareable slides of poetry so you can say it with a poem all over social media on #NationalPoetryDay.        


May 23, 2017

Our partners at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) have announced the 2017 shortlist for the Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award (CLiPPA). This is the 15th anniversary of the CLiPPA which encourages and celebrates outstanding poetry published for children. This year’s shortlist reflects the breadth and depth of poetry for children…

How to start a Narrative Workshop

May 12, 2017

Since 2014, writers Imogen Lycett Green and Barbara Doherty have pioneered the use of poetry in Narrative Workshops at the Brighton Health & Wellbeing centre, an integrated NHS practice in East Sussex. Reading, discussion and expressive writing in response to poetry have been proven to increase emotionaland physical resilience. Narrative Workshops help people who are…

BBC Local Poets – #HomeTruths wanted

October 6, 2016

National Poetry Day and BBC Local Radio have teamed up to challenge stereotypes and celebrate the distinctive natures of the regions that together compose the United Kingdom. From now, inspired by National Poetry Day’s 2019 theme of Truth, BBC Local Radio stations from Derby to Devon, Lancashire to London, plus BBC Radio Wales and Scotland,…

HRH Prince Charles ‘says it with a poem’

October 6, 2016

Hear HRH Prince Charles launched National Poetry Day 2016 with a reading of ‘The Shipping Forecast’ by Seamus Heaney HRH The Prince of Wales celebrated National Poetry Day 2016 with a reading of one of Seamus Heaney’s poems, ‘The Shipping Forecast’, on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. The recording was been specially created for Seamus…

National Poetry Day at St Pancras

October 5, 2016

Hear extraordinary personal journeys and discover some of the newest and brightest poets from across the globe. Please read here.

Forward Arts Foundation Commissions New Poems for National Poetry Day

October 5, 2016

Forward Arts Foundations commissions new poems from the five poets shortlisted for the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection. Poets were invited to respond to the National Poetry Day 2016 theme of ‘messages’. The Felix Denis Prize for Best First Collection celebrates the best books of poetry from new poets publishing in the UK. The prize…

Free The Word

October 5, 2016

Free The Word on National Poetry Day This year, we celebrate the poetry in England and Scotland’s favourite local words through National Poetry Day, which worked with the BBC, Hull City of Culture and 13 poets on the creation of 13 new poems. Each poem riffs on a different dialect word that deserves to be…

Launch of Messages: A National Poetry Day Book

October 1, 2016

Forward Art’s Foundation and Macmillan Children’s Books have created ‘Messages: A National Poetry Day Book’ to celebrate National Poetry Day 2016 and encourage readers to ‘say it with a poem’. Fourteen National Poetry Day ambassadors have contributed new poems and nominated old favourites, including Matt  Goodfellow, Rachel McCrum, Deborah Alma, Brian Moses, Liz Brownlee, Michaela…

National Poetry Day schools competition

July 12, 2016

WIN a National Poetry Day schools kit – posters, badges and books In schools all over the country it’s the day when poetry breaks out of the classroom into the corridors, the canteen, the sports field, and beyond. To kick-start the countdown, we’re offering schools all over the UK the chance to win a special…

Messages eBook

September 28, 2016

A free poetry anthology of wonderful poems – old and new – on the theme of “messages”. The fourteen poets in this eBook – created by Macmillan Children’s Books with Forward Arts Foundation – were all National Poetry Ambassadors. Download: mobi file (Kindle) epub file PDF file Contributors include: Deborah Alma, Liz Brownlee, Paul Cookson,…