269 Shares
269 Shares
FriOct 1

National Poetry Day – October 1, 2021

As children, one of the first poems we learn starts out, “Roses are red/Violets are blue…” Even as children, poetry causes us to pause and bask in the beauty of language. National Poetry Day occurs annually in the U.K. and Ireland on a Thursday in late September or early October. This year’s events are set for October 1 and focus on the theme of change. Admittedly, poetry is different things to different people. It can be whimsical or angry, sensitive or quiet. Most of all, poetry is most effective when read out loud for others to share.

National Poetry Day timeline

​2100 BC
​The "Epic of Gilgamesh" was the first written poem

​The "Epic of Gilgamesh"was a series of Sumerian poems and has the distinction of being the first written poem in the world.

1000s
​"Beowulf" makes literary history

​The ancient tale of Beowulf is the oldest surviving epic poem written in Old English with almost 3,200 alliterative lines.

​1956
​Allen Ginsberg Recited "Howl" in San Francisco

​Radical Beat poet Allen Ginsberg's epic poem, "Howl," exploded onto the poetry scene in San Francisco and revolutionized spoken word all over the world.

​1994
​National Poetry Day was created

​William Sieghart of the Forward Arts Foundation launched National Poetry Day in a British campaign to promote the benefits of poetry using public performances by leading poets.

​2009
​First female U.K. Poet Laureate appointed

​Carol Ann Duffy, the first female and openly gay poet laureate in the U.K., took her place of literary prominence, ending 400 years of male dominance.

National Poetry Day Activities

  1. Attend a poetry workshop

    National Poetry Day presents poets in unusual settings. You can attend a "Poetry as Therapy" group or be part of a "Poems in the Kitchen" setting while sipping a cup of tea and munching a scone. Libraries, bookshops, hospitals, and public transit are all preparing events to excite everyone about the fun of poetry.

  2. Take the stage

    How about belting out a poem during Poetry Karaoke? National Poetry Day has a plethora of activities for those who want to do more than sit quietly on the sidelines. Take a number and spit your poem during a poetry slam. A song is merely a poem set to music so try that too.

  3. Involve the children

    One of the big goals of the National Poetry Day events is to expose young people to the power of poetry. Both reading and writing poetry are creative ways to involve children early in literature. National Poetry Day makes it cool to hang out in the library for a day of activities centered on the spoken word. Organize or attend the various children's literary festivals that are in store.

5 (non-rhyming) Reasons We Love Poetry

  1. ​It’s cool

    ​Three of the coolest poets of all time are also best-sellers starting with Shakespeare, followed by Lao-Tzu and Kahlil Gibran.

  2. ​It’s okay to break the rules

    Seventeenth century poet John Dryden is the father of the oft-ignored grammatical rule which makes it a no-no to end a sentence with a preposition.

  3. ​You can do it anywhere

    ​Sir Walter Scott penned “Marmion," his most famous poem, while riding his horse.

  4. ​It’s not for everybody

    ​Metrophobia is the fear of poetry while metromania is the compulsive need to write it.

  5. Sometimes it’s ideal for long-winded people

    ​The world’s longest poem is the Mahabharata of India containing about 1.8 million words.

Why We Love National Poetry Day

  1. It's inspirational

    Poetry inspires us to observe the world we live in and to think about the roles we play. Poetry allows us to bravely share our innermost feelings even during times when we don't feel especially courageous. National Poetry Day provides a snapshot of a particular moment in time that encourages us to be more than we think we are. It reminds us of the common bonds we share as human beings.

  2. It's a story

    Poetry lets us tell a story, whether it's our own or someone else's. Since the dawn of time, cultures around the world have related tales about their heroes with poems recounting valor or dishonorable death. Poems reveal a society's values — what's held dear and which values are detrimental to the whole. Poems speak to an individual's personal journey, detailing everything one sees and hears along the way.

  3. It's not bound by rules

    Poems do not have to rhyme. e.e. cummings, for example, threw out traditional punctuation — seeing it as a hindrance to free poetic expression. National Poetry Day creates an open forum for new poets, young poets, established poets, and renegade poets to shake off the conventions of language and freely express outrageous opinions or feelings in a totally loving, safe space.

National Poetry Day dates

YearDateDay
2021October 1Friday
Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
AIDS Awareness Month
American Cheese Month
Blindness Awareness Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Caffeine Addiction Recovery Month
Down Syndrome Awareness Month
Eat Better, Eat Together Month
Emotional Wellness Month
Fair Trade Month
German-American Heritage Month
​Global Diversity Awareness Month
Health Literacy Month
Healthy Lung Month
​Italian-American Heritage Month
LGBTQ+ History Month
National ADHD Awareness Month
National Book Month
​National Bullying Prevention Month
National Caramel Month
National Chili Month
National Chiropractic Month
National Critical Illness Awareness Month
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month - October
National Dental Hygiene Month
National Depression Education and Awareness Month
National Dessert Month
​National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
National Ergonomics Month
National Liver Awareness Month
National Non-GMO Month
National Pasta Month
National Pescatarian Month
National Physical Therapy Month
National Pickled Peppers Month
National Pizza Month
National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
National Pretzel Month
National Protect Your Hearing Month
National Sausage Month
National Spina Bifida Awareness Month
Polish American Heritage Month
Rett Syndrome Awareness Month
Vegetarian Month
World Menopause Month
Chinese National Day
International Coffee Day
​International Day of Older Persons
National Black Dog Day
National Fire Pup Day
National Hair Day
National Homemade Cookies Day
National Poetry Day
World Smile Day
World Vegetarian Day
Fungal Disease Awareness Week

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.