National Poetry Day 2015

National Poetry Day will be celebrated across the UK on Thursday 8 October 2015.

The theme is LIGHT, marking the UN International Year of Light 2015.

Here in Scotland, the Scottish Poetry Library is celebrating the occasion by producing a series of 8 poem cards to enjoy. You can see images of designer Michael O'Shea's creative responses to the poems above.

Warm thanks go to our funder Creative Scotland and our project sponsors the Gaelic Book Trust and the Polish Cultural Institute for making this year's National Poetry Day celebrations possible.

Here are our top tips for preparing for National Poetry Day 2015:

1. Take a look at the poems for 2015

Enjoy a sneak preview of some of the poem cards that people across Scotland will be using to celebrate National Poetry Day 2015. We've teamed up with designer Michael O'Shea to give each one a unique look and feel. Take a look at the designs by clicking on the gallery of images above, or alternatively view the full plain texts here.

2. Get inspired by 2014 NPD activities

Check out how some schools and workplaces chose to celebrate National Poetry Day in 2014 - read our roundup below. Thanks to all who took part and created such imaginative projects around the National Poetry Day!

Image: Elgin Academy

3. If you work in a school, order your poem cards now!

Cards are available to order in multiples of 80 (a 'bundle'). Primary school bundles will feature the four poems most appropriate for primary aged children (20 copies of each poem), whilst secondary school bundles will include the full set of eight cards (10 copies of each). Schools can order up to 12 bundles for a flat fee of £13.

Download your order form here - deadline for orders is Friday 28 August (first come, first served).

4. Download POSTERS & resources

Free printable posters are now available online here, to brighten up staff rooms, library displays, classrooms, homes and hallways in the lead-up to National Poetry Day 2015. Teachers can download learning resources on the same page, designed to help bring the poems alive in classrooms and make cross-curricular links. The resources page also features information about the First Line Films project. A resource for community reading groups will follow soon!

5. Make your own plans for 2015

Whether it's a mini competition in a school, a display in a public library, a reading in a pub or putting up a few posters in the office kitchen, we need your help to light up others' days with poetry on Thursday 8 October 2015!

Image: Love Heart <3 by -Weng- under a Creative Commons licence


A look back at what you all did for National Poetry Day 2014

In 2014 the theme was 'Remember'. 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!

Looking forward to hearing what everyone gets up to in 2015!