National Poetry Day Date in the current year: October 6, 2016

National Poetry Day National Poetry Day is an annual event that takes place in the United Kingdom and Ireland on the first or second Thursday in October. It was founded in 1994 by British philanthropist, publisher and entrepreneur William Sieghart.

Sieghart founded National Poetry Day to promote poetry by drawing media attention for it. Since its inception, the campaign has become a permanent fixture in the British calendar of cultural events. Every year, it engages millions of people across the United Kingdom and Ireland with various events, such as public performances, broadcasts, classroom activities, etc. National Poetry Day events take place in libraries, bookstores, schools, arts centers, and even pubs and public transportation.

The campaign is coordinated by the Forward Arts Foundation. Sieghart established the Foundation in 1991 to extend the audience of modern poetry and raise poetry's profile. National Poetry Day is not the only project of the Foundation. For example, it also awards the Forward Prizes for Poetry. National Poetry Day is run in collaboration with a number of partners in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

From 1999 onwards, the campaign has been loosely themed. The theme serves as a source of inspiration rather than a directive. The first ever National Poetry Day theme was “Song Lyrics”.

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Cultural Observances


United Kingdom, Ireland


National Poetry Day, William Sieghart, cultural observances, Forward Arts Foundation