National Poetry Day 2022

By BBC Maestro

Last updated: 05 October 2022

Curious about the realms of rhyme and rhetoric? Why not step into the world which borne John Keates, Rupi Kaur and Carol Ann Duffy this National Poetry Day?

Here in the UK, National Poetry Day occurs annually on the first Thursday in October. Each year it calls upon aspiring poets, poetry lovers, and everyone else willing to make or experience poetry, to share it with family and friends. So, whether it’s choosing to read something new, attending a poetry slam, or getting your own thoughts and feelings onto paper, why not get involved?

2022's theme is the environment, encouraging audiences to discover or write a poem that praises the environment or identifies something they want to change in order to help it. 

It might a poem that celebrates the wonder of wildlife or David Attenborough’s Frozen Planet series, or it may be one that calls for the protection and conservation of wetlands. Whatever it may be, the idea is to invite more people to appreciate poetry. And what better way to get people involved in National Poetry Day than to share a poem about issues you care about?

Carol Ann Duffy writes

Carol Ann Duffy talks about writing poetry inspired by the environment in her forthcoming BBC Maestro poetry course

“Poetry about the natural world shouldn’t be a fantasy, it should have the same harsh truths as it does have in the natural world,” says Carol Ann Duffy.

Take a look at the below video where she discusses writing to reflect the real world. She reads from her own poem Clouds which is about amateur meteorologist and writer Luke Howard - who was excited by clouds and whose work helped scientists understand another dimension of the natural world.

If you’re a little daunted about starting to read or write poetry, you needn’t be. There’s no pressure to start writing immediately. You can take time to look at the world around you and reflect. In time, poetry will come. 

Remind yourself of what Carol Ann says about Luke Howard in the above clip about writing poetry. “We can think of him as an example for us as poets. He didn’t write anything. He was just looking. But eventually, he came to his page, and he wrote.”

If you’re excited to learn more about poetry, take a look at Carol Ann Duffy’s course Writing Poetry.

A collection of BBC Maestri including Julia Donaldson, Alan Moore and Edgar Wright displayed alongside some gift boxes with orange bows

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