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National Poetry Day 2009

A round-up of some of the events taking place nationwide to celebrate National Poetry Day on and around Thursday, 8 October 2009. For more details visit the official NPD website.


Birmingham Book Festival

6-29 October 2009

Various locations

Now in its tenth year, the Birmigham Book Festival invites poets, performers and many others to share their love of words. Includes the BBC Radio 4 Poetry Slam Final at the Birmingham Conservatoire, Paradise Place, Fletchers Walk, Birmingham B3 3HG on 6 October and the inaugural reading of Birmingham's new Poet Laureate at the Library Theatre, Birmingham Central Library, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3HQ on 9 October.
Visit the website

Adrian Johnson's City Tales

8 October 2009

Birmingham City Centre, various locations

Birmingham-based poet and storyteller Adrian Johnson marks National Poetry Day by telling short stories and poetry at five public locations in Birmingham at 12-2pm and 4-6pm.


Essex Poetry Festival

25 September-22 October 2009

The Cramphorn Theatre, Fairfield Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1JG

A programme of spoken word performances, writing workshops and open mic nights in venues around Chelmsford, kicking off on Friday 25 September with a Howl Poetry Link event hosted by Mr Gee, presenter of Radio 4's Bespoken Word.
Visit the website


Chester Literary Festival

3-18 October 2009

Various venues

A two-week programme celebrating the worlds of novels, biography, poetry and more, with a range of invited writers and poets. Includes free lunchtime poetry sessions, kicking off on 15 October at Oddfellows, 20 Lower Bridge St, Chester CH1 1RS with a Chester Oyez! talk on how to get your poems published by HappenStance Press' Helena Nelson at Bishop Lloyd's Palace, 51-53 Watergate Row, Chester CH1 2LE on 10 October.
Visit the website


Kin: Scottish Poems About Families

Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow G3 7DN

Scottish poet Hamish Whyte, reads and discusses poems from the anthology Kin: Scottish Poems About Families.
Visit the website


National Poetry Day Live!

8 October 2009

Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London

A free event marking the Poetry Society's centenary, National Poetry Day and BBC Poetry Season, featuring readings, recordings and performances by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Roger McGough, John Hegley and Dreadlock Alien.
Visit the website
More about Carol Ann Duffy
More about Roger McGough
Watch Dreadlock Alien's guide to performing poems in public

Jazz Poetry Superjam

8 October 2009

The 100 Club, 100 Oxford Street, London

A poetry jam featuring featuring Gwyneth Herbert, Adam Horovitz and more.
Visit the website

Camden Heroes

8 October 2009

Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, London WC1H

Readings for National Poetry Day and a display of postcard poems at Camden Town Hall with the Mayor of Camden and special guest poet Alan Brownjohn.
Visit the website


Afternoon Tea with Wendy Cope

8 October 2009

Wyeside Arts Centre, Castle Street, Builth Wells, Powys LD2 3BN

Best-selling poet Wendy Cope hosts afternoon tea and reads from her work.
Visit the website
More about Wendy Cope


The English Project presents Carol Ann Duffy

8 October 2009

Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry Street, Winchester SO23 8SB

Britain's first female Poet Laurete reads from her extensive collection of writing, followed by an interview with Prof Christopher Mulvey of the University of Winchester.
Visit the website
More about Carol Ann Duffy

Also: BBC Blast slamming events for under 19s

BBC Blast SLAMbassadors competition for budding poets aged between 13 and 19 has now launched! The competition will be running online and throughout the Blast summer tour. You can find out more about how to enter on the Blast website.

SLAMbassadors workshops are running during Blast on Tour events in: London, Bristol, Liverpool, Sunderland, Salford and Leeds. For more details and to book a free place on the workshops, go to the Blast on Tour page now.

Patrick Neate

Spoken Word

Patrick Neate has the lowdown on the UK live poetry circuit

Caroline Bird


Watch Caroline Bird's tips for writing poetry

Related Links

London Teenage Poetry Slam

Learn the tools of the writing and poetry-performing trade.

The Poetry Society

Search poetry events and organisations across the country (UK).

Apples and Snakes

Find upcoming live poetry events across England and Wales.

The Poetry Library

Sign up for the Newsletter and receive monthly updates of poetry events.

The Poetry Kit

Regularly updated details of open mic poetry events across the country (UK).

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