Celebrating the beauty of the written word with National Poetry Day
Having seen how poetry became a tool to facilitate closeness and unity throughout the pandemic, this year’s National Poetry Day is unleashing the power of the poem onto the streets of Sheffield, Glasgow, London, Bristol and Cardiff, with street-side poster displays of poetry in each city.
As the biggest, mass celebration of the artform, the yearly National Poetry Day continues to demonstrate the beauty of uniting people in appreciation of the written word. As they say themselves – “It starts conversations, encourages a love of language – and best of all, it’s open to absolutely everyone to join in.”
The poems selected for display in each city have been penned by renowned local writers. Marvin Thompson’s ‘May 8th 2020’ brings a sombre, vibrant meditation on death to the street-side in Cardiff, while Caleb Parkin’s ‘Shrinking Violets’ provides Bristol with his mind-bending metaphors. Warda Yassin’s ‘Weston Park’ takes to the streets of her city Sheffield, while Peckham’s Caleb Femi stirs the streets of his neighbourhood with ‘Thirteen’. In Glasgow, Imtiaz Dharker’s ‘Choice’ reflects the name of this year’s National Poetry Day theme, and shares intimate and intricate thoughts on motherhood.
Using our sites in the heart of each city, we’re bringing the poems straight to local people – with tear-away notepads attached to each site making copies available for passers-by to take home. Broadening access and awareness, it means the poems will be experienced not just by the people who witness them on the street, but also the family and friends they might choose to share the words with.
We’re delighted to be working with National Poetry Day to reach out and enable people who may not typically engage with poetry to enjoy, discover and share each piece. As poetry is one of the most beautiful and illuminating ways to explore identities, it’s an invaluable way to bring about closeness, understanding and empathy after enduring a time period of pervasive separation.