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National Poetry Day


Today is National Poetry Day, when people across the country celebrate the art of poetry. This year’s theme is remembrance, to tie in with the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. What poems do you remember?

That question is being asked to the public by a team from Cambridge University, who are launching a Poetry and Memory survey today, to coincide with National Poetry Day. The goal is to discover what poems live on in the public’s memory and what the significance of those poems are to the people who remember them. 

After a period of decline, the memorisation and recitation of poems is beginning to creep back into the British educational system. The research conducted by the team from Cambridge University is hoped to provide information for educational policy-makers and practitioners to benefit not only the teaching of English, but any subject which covers literary study in any way, including modern foreign languages and drama

As well as this survey, there are a number of events taking place across the country. In London, the Poetry Society and Southbank Centre are hosting National Poetry Day Live at the Royal Festival Hall. This afternoon of poetry is aimed at all ages and will feature performances from the likes of Kei Miller and Julia Donaldson. A number of schools will be holding their own poetry competitions and many poets will be visiting local libraries and other venues to perform readings of their poetry. For full listings, you may wish to visit the National Poetry Day website

We offer a number of school English literature tours which focus on the war poets. Whether you travel to Ypres, the Somme or Amiens, your students will be able to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Wilfred Owen, John McCrae and Stephen Wraysford, the main character in Sebastian Faulks’ novel, Birdsong. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us

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