National Poetry Day reading lists to feature YA reads

National Poetry Day reading lists to feature YA reads

YA-themed books will feature on this year's suggested reading lists to celebrate National Poetry Day on 3rd October.

The Forward Arts Foundation, which promotes knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of poetry in the UK and Ireland, has collected the lists comprising 35 books to read and share for the UK’s largest celebration of poetry. The campaign is also supported by Gardners and Browns Books for Students.

This year’s four Recommended National Poetry Day Reads lists are: New Books, Books for You and Your Reading Group, Books for Children and Books For Young People. The YA list is a new addition for this year’s 25th Anniversary of National Poetry Day, reflecting the range and interest in poetry for the YA market, the Forward Arts Foundation said.

More than 20 publishers from Penguin Random House, Macmillan and Faber to independents Carcanet, Bloodaxe Books, Seren and Penned in the Margins are supporting the campaign.

The New Books list includes titles such as The Tradition by Jericho Brown (Picador, £10.99) while the reading group-themed one features books such as Counting Backwards by Helen Dunmore (Bloodaxe) and Tell Me the Truth About Life edited by Cerys Matthews (Michael O’Mara). Toffee by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury) features on the YA list alongside poets such as Nikita Gill (Great Goddesses, Ebury). On the Books for Children recommendations, Chris Riddell features with Poems to Fall in Love With (Macmillan Children’s Books) as does Ted Hughes for What is the Truth (Faber).

Display packs featuring designs by National Poetry Day 2019 artist Chie Hosaka and including sets of collectable bookmarks have been sent to schools, bookshops and libraries across the UK with the support of Gardners and Browns Books for Students.

Andrea Reece, national poetry day manager, said: “This is the third year we have created recommended reading lists for National Poetry Day. These lists show the extraordinary breadth and wealth of poetry at the moment, and it’s no wonder that sales of poetry books are booming.”

Nigel Wyman, head of business development at Gardners, said: “Gardners is delighted to be a key sponsor of this year’s National Poetry Day and to be working alongside the team at the Forward Arts Foundation. We are noticing upwards sales trends and enjoy seeing the innovative ways in which it is delivered. Our partnership is geared towards generating awareness and growing the reach of this important genre.”

National Poetry Day was founded in 1994 and is supported by the BBC, Arts Council England, the Royal Mail and leading literary and cultural organisations. This year’s 25th anniversary Truth campaign is supported by UK book trade wholesaler Gardners and leading education supplier Browns Books for Students.

Nielsen BookScan recently announced that poetry sales have increased by almost 50% in five years, reaching an all-time high of £12.3 million in 2018.