Today! It's the big day ...

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It's National Poetry Day! This year’s theme is Choice – and you can find out about some of the events taking place today on the organisation’s map here. The Reader charity, which recruits volunteers to read with schools, families and looked-after-children, adults in community spaces, people in care homes, people with physical and mental health conditions, those coping with or recovering from addiction, and people in the criminal justice system, has launched an anthology to mark National Poetry Day.

The Road Not Taken, put together in association with Forward Arts Foundation, explores the theme of Choice. The Reader is also hosting a National Poetry Day event, Choose Your Own Poetry Path, this evening of 7 October, both online or in-person at the Mansion House in London.

Coventry’s Fire and Dust open-mic night is back live for National Poetry Day, at the Big Comfy Bookshop, FarGo Village, Far Gosford Street, Coventry. Featured poet is Neil Richards and doors open at 7.30pm – and it’s already sold out!  

In Chichester, there’s a celebration of poetry at the Novium, Tower Street, Chichester, when South Downs poets Stephanie Norgate and Barry Smith launch their poetry collections – The Conversation (Bloodaxe) from Stephanie and Performance Rites (Waterloo Press) from Barry. There will be live music from Linda Kelsall-Barnett on classical guitar and open mic as well. Tickets £7.50 (to include a glass of wine) are available from the Novium box office 01243 816525.

Live Canon will be hosting a free poetry reading at the Concert Artistes Association, Bedford Street, London, featuring Miranda Peake, Jenny Mitchell, Henry St Leger and Katie Griffiths. More details

In Bishops Castle, Shropshire, Emergency Poet Deborah Alma’s one and only Poetry Pharmacy will be celebrating its second birthday with a reading featuring Angela France and Peter Daniels. The open mic slots are all taken, but there are still a few audience spaces available to book.

And there’s an online reading presented by Jill Abram with fellow members of Malika's Poetry Kitchen - Dean Atta, Be Manzini, Soul Patel and Joolz Sparkes - for the Portobello Bookshop in Edinburgh. You can find details and booking here

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