National Poetry Day this year will see community groups come together for a "mass outbreak of verse" on Thursday 6th October, when railway stations, coffee shops, police forces, schoolchildren and scientists all rise to the challenge to “say it with a poem”.
The theme of this year's National Poetry Day is “messages”, with the event billed as an opportunity to turn "ordinary communications" into "memorable ones", by using favourite poems to communicate the messages that matter most from 'Thank you' and 'Sorry to I love you' and 'Help!', the organisers have said.
In Staffordshire, the world’s first "Poetry Postie" will use carrier pigeons to fly verse across the skies. In Edinburgh, a "highly unusual" answer phone is turning anonymous messages into poems, while in Antarctica, scientists from the British Antarctic Survey will read poetry to the only audience available for miles: penguins.
Susannah Herbert, National Poetry Day director, said: “Anyone who has struggled for the right words in moments that really matter – whether of happiness or grief or loss - knows a poem can reach places that prose just can’t. That’s why we’re urging anyone with anything important to say on 6th October, to say it with a poem. It can be new or old, utterly original or a familiar favourite. Just by doing something as simple as sharing a poem, you become part of the celebration.”
National Poetry Day is co-ordinated by the Forward Arts Foundation, a charity that celebrates poetry and promotes it as part of everyday life.
The days leading up to National Poetry Day will see several events take place, including the announcement of the winners of the Forward Prizes for Poetry live on 20th September at the Southbank Centre.