Thursday, June 20, 2013

National Poetry Day 2013 – water, water, everywhere

Thursday 3rd October 2013 A nationwide celebration of all things poetical On 3rd October people of all ages will take part in the 19th annual National Poetry Day, inspired by the theme ‘water, water, everywhere’. National Poetry Day this year challenges participants to smuggle poetry into the most unlikely places: not just in libraries and classrooms, but on fishing boats and ferries, via postcards, mobile phones and announcements on station platforms. The devisers of the best wheezes for bringing poetry off the bookshelves will be honoured with specially commissioned odes, clerihews and rhyming couplets. Prizes, poetic installations, performances and online happenings featuring world-famous poets and poetry lovers will send ripples throughout the nation. In London, inspiration will follow the river Thames to Southbank Centre, which will host National Poetry Day Live with the Poetry Society, a jubilant afternoon of performances, readings, films, and the announcement of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year. Commuters at St Pancras station will be entertained by readings from this year’s John Betjeman Poetry Competition for Young People. In Birmingham, which unveils the identity of the city’s latest poet laureate on National Poetry Day, the national poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, will read with Imtiaz Dharker in an event hosted by Writing West Midlands. And in Wales, four poets will be shut in rooms with keyboards and pencils until they have produced one hundred new poems – in Welsh. The Royal Shakespeare Company and Tate will be among many organisations highlighting poetry in the run up to the day and on National Poetry Day itself. In Scotland, more than 300,000 poetry postcards will be given away by the Scottish Poetry Library, in partnership with Scottish Water. Short films of the poems featured will bring apt, funny and moving words to the screens of phones and laptops. Events will spill over the days preceding and following National Poetry Day itself, including performances by Simon Armitage inspired by his seven-week walk from Minehead to Lands End along the South West Coast Path – in which he will be paying for board and lodging with poetry – and a celebration of canal poetry, Waterlines Live, at Birmingham Literature Festival on October 6th and 13th. The month of National Poetry Day will begin on October 1st with the eagerly-awaited announcement of the winners of the Forward Prizes for Poetry, and the launch of the annual Forward Book of Poetry at Southbank Centre William Sieghart, Chairman of the Forward Arts Foundation and founder of National Poetry Day, says: “National Poetry Day is a chance to abandon the prosaic for 24 hours, to use rhythm, rhyme, free verse, irregular beats and raps to make words more vivid. It’s a day with a difference, when language floats free from regular rules. Find a poem you love and share it, online and face-to-face, or make up some poetry of your own. This year’s water theme, lifted from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, is just a starting point: without water we die, without poetry we cannot fully live.” Founded by the Forward Arts Foundation 19 years ago, National Poetry Day is now a major national event: last year it reached more than 50 million people. To find out how to get involved or to promote your National Poetry Day event,visit See our Facebook page or find us on Twitter @poetrydayuk / #NPDLive

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