National Poetry Day

What did you do for National Poetry Day 2014?

The theme for 2014 was 'Remember' so there's lots of scope for reading, creating and generally celebrating poetry. Here are some examples of what people did:

*Coltness High School ran a poetry competition on the theme of 'Remember'. Ben Rudden was runner-up with 'I remember', and the winner was another 2nd year pupil, Graham Sneddon, with his poem 'Remember' - read it on the righthand side of this page.

* Elgin Academy eagerly anticipated NPD in 2014. As librarian, Shelagh Toonen, says on the school NPD poster, 'National Poetry Day is a day when poetry slips off its dust-jacket and takes to the streets.' Performance poet Richie Brown, from The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen, worked with S6 pupils. S1 & S2 pupils wrote poems on the theme Remember When….. These were read out and photos taken, which were displayed on the plasma screens on NPD. Poems will be displayed on the classroom doors.

*Auchinleck Academy put a poetry themed display up and held a poetry competition to inspire pupils to write their own poems. Aptly, the prizes were memory sticks! 

*"Here at Stromness Academy we will be having our annual ‘Poetry Picnic’ which we have held in the school library for over 10 years. Pupils and staff are invited to come along for snacks and to read poetry. There will also be a poetry competition based around the theme as well as displays of poetry. We will use this to lead on to a more specific remembrance of World War I through a whole school IDL, after the October break and in the run up to Remembrance Day."

*Over at Craigholme School S1 took a National Poetry Day assembly on Friday. The pupils wrote their own poems and made a collage in the classroom inspired by Helena Nelson’s “Don’t” and Lochhead’s “Sorting Through”. They have conveyed the theme of remember within their poems  by using objects or places that evoked memories for them.

*At Buckie High School, poetry came to life when poet Ian Stephen ran poetry workshops with S2 and S3 classes on the theme of Remember. Teachers also got into the poetry mood by displaying their favourite poems on their classroom doors and the library was festooned with poems old and new along with poetry book displays. S1 English classes have also been working on class poems with the librarian which were on display in the school library.

*North Berwick High School created this evocative poster to remind pupils and staff of NPD.

*And City of Edinburgh Council celebrated NPD too - Evelyn Love-Gajardo, Literacy Development Officer, has downloaded posters for the walls of Waverley Court to inspire and entertain her colleagues!

Let us know what your school or library did. We'd  love to share your ideas with other schools. Plus we'd love to see photos or poems from the day's celebrations.  Tweet your plans on #nationalpoetryday! 

National Poetry Day in 5 minutes

1. Read a poem in your coffee break

Read a poem about remembering, right now.

On the sidebar to the right, you'll find all the poems featured on this year's NPD Scotland postcards, as well as suggestions of more poems about remembering. Which will stick in your brain?

2. Share a poem

Make a quick search for a suitable poem on our website, either searching by a single word, or browsing by subject, or one of our 8 National Poetry Day poems. Use the shortcuts at the foot of the poem to share it on Twitter, like it on Facebook - or just email the link to your deserving friend. They might even return the favour.

3. Put up a poem poster

Print off a pdf poster of one of the National Poetry Day poems, or browse our collection of poem posters to find the one that hits the mark. We recommend poem posters for noticeboards, near a communal kettle, or in toilets - places everyone has just a few minutes and desperately needs something uplifting to read.

National Poetry Day posters | Browse other SPL posters

4. Plan for poetry

Use your five minutes to plan how to start spending more time reading or writing, poems.

There are so many ways you can enjoy poetry reading and writing:  podcasts, websites, apps, writers' groups, local reading groups, live events, having a poetry book in your bag (or phone or ereader) all help keep poems in your life.

5. Memorise a poem

Well, this year's theme is 'Remember' and if you learn a poem by heart, you'll always have it with you! Start with something short. A strong rhythm and rhyme scheme will help to jog your memory. Have a look at 'Remember, Remember' our resource sheet which will give you tips on how to learn poems by heart.

What will you do?

Tell us what you are planning for National Poetry Day.  Send us a quick note of your ideas for your school, town, library, workplace, shed, and if you can share a photo with us please send that too (check it's ok to use, especially if you have a school or other policy about photos).  We'll try to put as much as we can up on this page.