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National Poetry Day 2017 celebrates Freedom

18 September 2017

Next Thursday, 28 September, is National Poetry Day in the UK and a good template of how a national celebration for poetry can achieve real reach. The BBC, schools, poets, publishers, bookshops and readers are uniting to bring about a real celebration of poetry. Poets in particular will be very much in evidence, with a mass of events and school visits to celebrate the day.

The theme of the day will be Freedom and there are already many poems available celebrating this theme.

National Poetry Day (NPD) is a little earlier than usual to incorporate the BBC's involvement in the City of Culture celebrations in Hull. The BBC is also taking part by organising a commissioning of new poems using local words. It's great to have such strong support for poetry from a major broadcaster.

Then there are events across the country on and around National Poetry Day, involving a huge number of poets. These can be found on the events page and any UK event related to NPD can still be added.

Very impressively, the organisers of NPD have managed to persuade 19 publishers to support a trade promotion for poetry, which will feature 40 inspiring poetry books. Sales of poetry books have never been easy to achieve and it's great to have such support from the book trade.

But it's in the educational field that NPD really comes into its own, with masses of poets going into schools, featuring children's poets in particular. The educational resources are particularly useful for anyone working with young people. One event will be available online at 2.30 pm GMT on the day before NPD, 27 September, featuring the poet Roger Stevens, who runs the Poetry Zone website.