(UK) National Poetry Day 8th October 2015

What is National Poetry Day?

Text below has been copied from the forward arts foundation site, with links.   Main link as below.    Here is just their brief outline of National Poetry Day.  Go to their link for the full website and all the activities of Forward Arts Foundation.   If there is no time for you to join in fully this year then make a date in your diary for 2016.


National Poetry Day, the annual mass celebration of poetry and all things poetical, will mark its 21st birthday on Thursday 8 October 2015.  Download our free National Poetry Day anthology of Light Poems here, and check out the poems and poets involved here.

All are invited to join in, breaking with the tyranny of prose by thinking of a poem and sharing it imaginative ways, with the hashtags #nationalpoetryday and #thinkofapoem. What does it mean, to see the world as a poet does?  The best responses to our Make Like A Poet digital challenge will be blazed across Blackpool Lights on National Poetry Day.

Expect the airwaves to be full of verse, while impromptu poetry festivals and read-a-thons will pop up in thousands of unexpected places, from shops, streets and offices to waiting rooms and train stations.  In schools and libraries, members of Chatterbooks book clubs will plunge into poetry.  This year’s National Poetry Day theme is Light: proprietors of power stations and lighthouses, opticians, photographers and firework-makers are among the professions participating.  In Bristol the National Poetry Day ambassador, Liz Brownlee has even rounded up the city’s light workers – including an astronomer, a firefighter, a cosmologist, a fire-eater  and many more – to read poems about light for films to be displayed on the Big Screen in the city centre.

On BBC Radio 4, Andrew Marr, Dominic West and some of Britain’s most-loved poets and performers will mark the day by weaving poetry into the schedule from early morning until late at night.  ‘We British: An Epic in Poetry’ will tell the story of Britain through its poetry, from the earliest verses ever written on the British Isles to some of the most recent.

National Poetry Day is co-ordinated by the Forward Arts Foundation, a charity that celebrates poetry and promotes it as part of everyday life.

With Macmillan Children’s Books, it has nominated eleven poets as National Poetry Day Ambassadors, with special responsibility for igniting enthusiasm nationwide.

The best of their freshly composed poems on the subject of light have been launched as an free eBook.  Poems they judge unsatisfactory will be used to light fires. A poetry ambulance, staffed by the emergency poet, will be on stand-by.

Learn more about our plans and offers by signing up to our mailing list. In the meantime there are lots of opportunities to join in – we list events of all shapes and sizes in the what’s on section.



The Forward book of poetry, A Graph Review

A Graph Review
60 with highpoints 75

The Forward Book of poetry  2015

978 057131524 6      paperback       £8.99

Did you Remember National Poetry Day 2014?  A UK event organised by the Forward Arts Foundation for the last 19 years.  Well, this annual event has once again produced a compilation from a wide ranging number of authors.  The finings of a year’s selection from best collection, best first collection and best single poem, from Oct. 2013 to Sept. 2014. forward book of poetry 2015 cover imageThis includes  winners and highly commended of each section.
The panel, including and chaired by Jeremy Paxman consisted of ….. Dannie Abse, Vahni Capildeo, Helen Mort and Cerys Mathews.

So, what is offered by The Forward book of poetry 2015?

Simple, 70 of the best poems written by the best of writers in English.  Authors in all ranges and style, stages and ages.  What have they in common?  Quality.

The Foreward by Jeremy Paxman states that more than half the poems in this collection are by new and emerging writers.  Many are names that I have not previously read but that is my shortcoming and I am happy to follow them up.  I was happy to see (read!) Ruth Padel and a long term favourite, Douglas Dunn.  Also Andrew Motion and Louise Gluck, who has caught my attention quite recently.  More authors who grabbed my attention as I read through this collection are: Robert Crawford, Theodore Deppe, Carrie Etter, David Hersant and Emily Wills, not forgetting Kei Miller who gets a mention below.  Having said that, this was a real pleasure throughout.  A treasure of modern verse with takes and echoes and rhythms to be read over and again.  Each poet, each poem, deserves its place here.

Any regrets?  None. Well, maybe for myself in now having to wear glasses to read the smaller font size in books and perhaps sit under a brighter than previous light.  Is this relevant?  It is when you have to catch time when available to read so much good verse.  Incredible value for £8.99.

One last point:
Next generation Poets:
Check out the names of the poets in this Forward anthology of 2015 (2014 poets, prize winners, shortlisted and commended) and then compare them with the names of the ‘Next Generation Poets 2014’ ( nextgenerationpoets.com ). This is a commendation of the best new poets in UK and Ireland which is considered every ten years and this October was it. You will find three names on both lists:

Kei Miller, short listed by Forward.
Jen Hadfield, Highly Commended by Forward and in 2014 collection
Hannah Lowe, Highly Commended by Forward and in 2014 collection

Kei is published by Carcanet and Jen and Hannah both published by Bloodaxe.

So, maybe statistically, we have three poets to watch particularly.  I just hope they continue to write their own poetry in their own way without having to worry about any such weight on their shoulders.

But then you know what statistics are, so grab a chance to read them all, find who you like and follow their writing.  However the only way to enjoy particular poets is to read around them too.  All tastes and styles change over time for both the reader and the writer.  I was just about to mumble on about pools and ripples but then I remember statistics and teaching grandmother to suck eggs!   I have just been reading James Elroy Flecker, now there’s a different kettle of fish.     Enough! Enough!

National Poetry, Day 2013

National Poetry Day.  3rd October. 2013

This year the theme is based on: water, water everywhere…

Must start looking now for events on the day, or just starting, like the poetry competition.  There is always a mass of things happening, depending on what you are looking for. I will try to get to Londons Southbank or maybe find something local.   Just winding myself up to revisit Milton’s Paradise Lost, somehow reminds me of rolling hills and thunder-storms but as I haven’t read it for nearly fifty years I suspect the memory will be severely dented on the re-read.

 Just seen:

Poet Alice Oswald Wins Warwick Prize
Alice Oswald becomes the first poet to win the £25,000 Warwick
Prize with ‘Memorial’, her acclaimed reworking of Homer’s Iliad


 Note to self:  get a copy asap……

Back to NPD:

 There are hundreds of websites all with links to many others so all you really need to do is type in national poetry day.     Extra cheers for the Scottish Library website et al,  sorry I don’t live in Edinburgh or even Scotland at that.     I have just put in two that are a bit obvious and two others I like

www. southbankcentre.co.uk

www. poetrysociety.org.uk

www. writeoutloud.net