National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day Quick Facts

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2023 Date5 October 2023
2024 Date4 October 2024

National Poetry Day

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National Poetry Day celebrates the poetic art form, emphasising the importance of poetry in our everyday lives. It aims to ignite a passion for reading, writing, and sharing poems amongst individuals, communities, and institutions. This annual event highlights the power of language, showcasing the diversity of poetry, and encouraging people of all ages to engage with this timeless form of expression.

The origins of National Poetry Day date back to 1994 when it was founded by the Forward Arts Foundation. Since then, it has grown considerably, gaining widespread support and involvement from various sectors. For people in the United Kingdom, this event offers an opportunity to explore and appreciate the rich literary heritage that the country possesses.

During National Poetry Day, people across the UK participate in an array of activities such as poetry readings, workshops, and competitions. Schools, libraries, and bookshops often organise special events or displays, helping to promote an appreciation for poetry amongst communities. Each year, the celebration revolves around a specific theme, encouraging participants to contemplate and engage with poetry in a new light. Typically observed on the first Thursday of October, National Poetry Day is a testament to the enduring relevance and vitality of poetry within the United Kingdom.

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National Poetry Day Facts

  • There are about 15 types of poetry. Some of the most recognisable are:
    1) Blank Verse
    2) Haiku
    3) Epics
    4) Sonnet
    5) Limerick
  • The oldest written poems to date are:
    1) The Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor (2500 BCE)
    2) The Epic of Gilgamesh (2100-1200 BCE)
    3) The Iliad and the Odyssey (8th century BCE)
    4) Ramayana and Mahabharata (3rd century BCE-3rd century CE)
  • Recent research has shown that engaging with poetry can have positive effects on mental health and well-being.
  • One of the oldest known poetic works is the Epic of Gilgamesh from ancient Mesopotamia, dating back to over 4,000 years ago.

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National Poetry Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Discover poems based on this year's theme.
  • Try writing your own poetry. You can even participate in competitions.
  • If you're an educator or just want to help share the gift of poetry, check out these free resources.
  • Attend an event featuring a local poet, or buy works from local poets and small presses to show your support and help celebrate the day.
  • Spend some time writing your own poems, and share your work with friends or family or on social media.

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