A live digital event with Michael Rosen is among a raft of celebrations taking place for National Poetry Day today (7th October).
This year's event has been backed by a digital and live campaign featuring parent poetry clubs, displays in bookshops and poetry sharing across social media.
Specially commissioned billboards displaying poems by Imtiaz Dharker, Caleb Femi, Caleb Parkin, Marvin Thompson and Warda Yassin are also unveiled today.
Warda Yassin with her billboard in Sheffield (© Danni Maibaum)
The Children’s Bookshow will be hosting an author event for primary schools with Rosen, while spoken word organisation Poetry By Heart are hosting a reception at 10 Downing Street, featuring 30 children who will be reciting poetry.
A selection of permissions cleared poems, curated around this year's theme of choice will be shared by poets, the event's partners and poetry fans. In addition, fans are being asked to complete the phrase "I choose poetry because". Responses will be ahsred across Twitter, Tik Tok and Instagram.
The Booksellers Association has distributed 1,000 posters to member bookshops featuring James Carter’s "Choose A Poem!", which he wrote for National Poetry Day. The NPD 2021 recommended poetry books line-up features 43 new poetry books from 26 publishers — the biggest selection to date, with more small presses highlighted this year.
Billboards have gone up around the country for National Poetry Day (© Jack Arts)
An evening of poetry on parenthood at The Chapel at JCT, organised by the Mum Poet Club will take place tonight. In addition, the LoveReading4Kids Poetry Prize winner will be announced today. The winning poet will win a visit to their school from National Poetry Day ambassador Matt Goodfellow, and £250 of book tokens from National Book Tokens to be spent on books for their school.
Mónica Parle, executive director of the Forward Arts Foundation, said: "We would love National Poetry Day 2021 to be the biggest yet and help every reader discover poetry that brings them joy, solace, a sense of belonging. All these gifts are beautifully — almost magically — found in poetry in a direct, personal way."