To tell the Truth, it's National Poetry Day!

entry picture

It’s National Poetry Day today – will you be taking part in a poetry event somewhere? This year’s theme is Truth. The organisers of National Poetry Day have put together a map of events taking place, which you can find here. All day long, there will be poems broadcast over the Tannoy at selected stations on the London Underground. The Poetry Society is organising Schools National Poetry Day Live at 2pm in the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank, a free event featuring Raymond Antrobus, Jasmine Simms, Theresa Lola, Dzifa Benson, Joelle Taylor, and Daljit Nagra. The event is open to all, though schools must pre-book.

At the Poetry Society’s Poetry Café in Covent Garden, you can join a National Poetry Day special Poetry @3 open mic at 3pm on the theme of truth and lies. The Poetry Society is also holding a free, poetry-inspired concert The Poet Speaks with pianist Annie Yim at 7pm at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, featuring the poetry of Zaffar Kunial and others.

The Places of Poetry project, which has notched up over 5,000 poems on its poetry map of England Wales since the beginning of June, is staging an event in Exeter with Literature Works at the Custom House. Poet Sara-Jane Arbury will introduce and perform a sequence, or renga, of haiku contributed by members of the public who visited historic locations around the city as part of the recent Exeter Heritage Open Days. Contributors to the Places of Poetry project, who have written poems about places in Devon, are also invited to share their poem(s) at the open mic following Sara-Jane’s performance.  It starts at 6pm at Exeter’s Customs House.

National Poetry Day is also the start of Birmingham literature festival - and Muses and Furies will see a panel of women poets bring their stories about place, relationships, activism, feminism, faith, love and womanhood. Sue Brown, Jessica Mookherjee, Jacqueline Saphra, Julia Webb and Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan will give a special performance of their latest collections. This is followed by former poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy reading her own work, plus special guests.

At the Museum of Liverpool there will be a final reading from The Quality of Mersey anthology. Poets led by Barry Woods, Michelle Wright and Ali Harwood have been performing poems from the anthology throughout 2019 at festivals and bookshops around the Wirral and Liverpool. The winding river of words that begins in Stockport and flows to the estuary will be introduced by John Gorman, who came up with the original idea.

In Edinburgh Sally Crabtree will transform the Scottish Poetry Library into a “sweetshop of words” where visitors are invited to come and share memories of sweets and sweetshops past and present. In the evening Dean Atta will join Sally to perform a piece entitled GOBstopper, a mix of poetry bingo, sweetshop memories, and music. There's Urdu poetry at Glasgow Women's Library, and Burgh Poets, who meet each month at the Burgh Cafe in Stirling, will be giving a National Poetry Day reading at Ninian’s library in Stirling.

Literature Wales has once again challenged four poets to compose 100 Welsh-language poems in 24 hours. Each poet will need to compose at least one poem every hour in order to complete the challenge in time. In Northern Ireland, the annual Dawn to Dusk event, with poems on the hour every hour, is taking place this year in the Enniskillen Museums complex.

There’s still time for you to list your National Poetry Day event on Write Out Loud’s free and easy to use Gig Guide


◄ Distance Sweet on my Tongue: Kerry Darbishire, Indigo Dreams

'It could only belong to him for fifteen minutes' ►


Profile image

keith jeffries

Tue 1st Oct 2019 22:49

It is encouraging to hear of all these national events. In my small town of 5000 souls there will be readings given by local people of their poems in the local public library. It has become an annual event and well attended.

Keith Jeffries

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message