National Poetry Day: Remember

Thursday 2 October 2014

This year's National Poetry Day will take place on Thursday 2 October. The theme for 2014 is 'remember'. 

Whether it's Thomas Hood or Philip Larkin's 'I Remember, I Remember'; the centenary of the First World War; or the national Poetry by Heart recitation competition; memory is an important part of poetry.

This year, refreshing our collective poetry memories, there will be readings, launches, prizes, performances and happenings. Details of the Poetry Society's work is below, but for details of other events taking place please visit:

You can also keep a track of everything that's going on by following the Poetry Society on Twitter, or watching the hashtag #nationalpoetryday.


National Poetry Day Live

The Poetry Society and Southbank Centre, London, present National Poetry Day Live from the Clore Ballroom of the Royal Festival Hall.

Join us for a wonderful afternoon of poetry for all ages, including school groups, families and an evening of performances for adults.

Featuring performances from some of the biggest names in poetry, including Julia Donaldson, John Hegley, Daljit Nagra, Kei Miller and Jean 'Binta' Breeze.

Several new Poetry Society commissions will also premiere at National Poetry Day Live, including a new film of Marian Allen's 'The Wind on the Downs' and several new Page Fright films, featuring spoken word legends.

This year, National Poetry Day Live has been programmed for the first time by a group of the Poetry Society's Young Associates – young poets at the start of their careers.

Tweet from the event yourself, or get involved online, with the hashtag #NPDLive


The Pity

The day at Southbank Centre will end with 'The Pity', a special premiere of four new commissions on the theme of 'conflict'. Denise Riley, Warsan Shire, Steve Ely and Zaffar Kunial will each showcase new pieces in the Purcell Room of Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre. 

More information is available on the Southbank website. Tickets for The Pity are £10 – Poetry Society members receive a 50% discount.


Poetry at Covent Garden and Oval

The celebrations continue with a collaborative poetry take-over of the Poetry Society's local London Underground station at Covent Garden, and also at Oval Station. We've worked with Transport for London, London Underground and the London Transport Museum to enhance the poetic lives of visitors to the area all day.

Listen out for some 'remember'-themed poems as public announcements at Covent Garden and Oval stations, pick up some poetry-related freebies – and look out for the renowned 'Quote of the Day' board, which will also offer a moment of poetic reflection.

There will also be an open mic event at the Covent Garden Piazza outside the London Transport Museum, 11.30am-12.30pm.

And from 7.30pm-late, the Poetry Café presents Playing Poetry, an evening of experimental poetry performance devised by singers, musicians, actors and poets. Drop by from 6.30pm and submit your written poems about remembrance into the poetry time capsule! Tickets are £4.

National Poetry Day teacher resources

Looking for teaching resources? Literature organisations across the country are producing teaching resources for National Poetry Day, which can be downloaded from the National Poetry Day website.

We also have a number of teaching resources you can use to plan your National Poetry Day activity:


National Poetry Day logo

About National Poetry Day

Since 1994 National Poetry Day has engaged millions of people with poetry through a range of live events and web-based activities for people young and old throughout the country. Each year the day has a new theme. You can find out more about previous National Poetry Days and the Poetry Society's involvement by looking at our National Poetry Day history pages.

The Poetry Society always celebrates National Poetry Day with exciting events, though we're not the official organisers.

More Information

Various Poetry Society competitions take place on or around, or have celebrations linked to, National Poetry Day. The Stanza Poetry Competition winner is announced on National Poetry Day, as are the winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award. The National Poetry Competition closes at the end of October, giving poets inspired by the day time to pen their poems and enter. 

The Poetry Society runs an extensive education programme of education work: Poetryclass INSET days, school membership packages (for individual schools and networks) and the SLAMbassadors UK nationwide youth slam championship. To find out more about the education work that we offer or to organise a poet visit, please see our education pages. Alternatively you can contact our education team.