Happy National Poetry Day

October 3, 2019

The Forward Arts Foundation promotes public knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of poetry in the UK and Ireland. National Poetry Day is a Forward Arts Foundation initiative, this year focused on the theme Truth. Read some poems here.

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make like a poet

October 8, 2015

National Poetry Day 2015

National Poetry Day — today, Thursday, October 8, 2015 — is a UK holiday, but that’s no reason to bypass the celebration. This year’s theme is Light. Here are a few options:

  • As The Guardian suggests, ‘make like a poet’ and record a “video of yourself reading out a poem for somebody you care about.”
  • The Guardian also offers a number of short films that explore the subject of light through poetry. Stephen Hawking reads “Relativity” by Sarah Howe, Samantha Morton reads “My Brilliant Image” by Hafez, and Sean Bean reads “Notes on the Art of Poetry” by Dylan Thomas.
  • In honor (honour?) of National Poetry Day, Peter Howarth examines “The rise and rise of performance poetry” in The Independent.
  • Download a free NPD poster, a photo for your Facebook profile or cover, or wallpaper from the Forward Arts Foundation.
  • Visit the website of the Scottish Poetry Library to view the eight poem-cards produced for this year’s celebration.
  • If you tweet, check out #NationalPoetryDay on Twitter.
  • If you Facebook, stop by PoetryDayUK.
  • Watch and listen to the children of Saint Augustine’s Priory School in Ealing reading “The Minister of Light,” a poem by Mona Arshi, on YouTube.
  • Write a poem.

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another poetry walk

January 26, 2014

Poetry on Location

Here’s a post about another poetry walk that also makes a case for reading poetry with children.

Sophia Compton, now on her way to start an English Literature degree at University College London, found herself with “some time off between school and University” and decided to do something worthwhile with poetry in the interim.

Noticing that her home town, Salisbury, which has “fantastic art and theatre driven by the medieval cathedral,” was somewhat lacking in poetry, Sophia took the initiative to work with the Forward Arts Foundation, which was undertaking “a large project to get poetry out into public spaces around England.”

For Poetry on Location, Sophia and Forward Arts worked with art groups, local schools and community organizations to select the right words and the right location. Ultimately, they selected words from Vikram Seth’s poem “Lost” for a series of paving stones in the northwest corner of Salisbury’s Market Square.

“One of the most enjoyable parts of the experience was researching poets with a historic connection to Salisbury,” Sophia says. “There is a wealth of talent, from Sir Philip Sidney through George Herbert to Vikram Seth. But as soon as I read “Lost” from The Rivered Earth, and learnt about the connection with George Herbert I knew that those were the perfect lines for this project.” Seth’s words were carved in stone by local stonemason Harry Jonas.

Calling herself “passionate” about poetry, Sophia credits nightly readings “with my mum” from the anthology The Rattle Bag, edited by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes, as the source of her interest.

If you’re on your way to Stonehenge, Salisbury is only 15k away, so stop by the Market Square and read some poetry.

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