Here at Penned in the Margins every day is a Poetry Day.
Nonetheless, once a year, we’re given the chance to dress up in our Sunday Best, gang up with our poetry friends, enemies, collaborators and competitors, and step into the pale, flickering light of media attention that is NATIONAL POETRY DAY.
As ever, that means that one newspaper will declare
Poetry is dead!
whilst another will announce that it has risen, Lazarus-like, from the grave.
Grand dames/gents will give laconic soundbites; initiatives will be launched; a thousand enthusiastic press releases fired into the ether. The latest spoken word phenomenon will be touted as our Saviour, and the Southbank Centre will be turned into a kind of cultured moshpit (and you might be forced to have a temporary tattoo, if my experience is anything to go by).
Behind the buzz and the Tweets, there is a living artform. Neither dead nor a corpse re-animated like some has-been rockstar on a comeback tour, poetry maintains. It is like us, in all our variousness. The good, the bad, the downright magical. It’s all there. And it’s up to you to seek it out – and in whatever pools of light you can. Dappled, dim, or neon-lit.
2. Head to the Southbank Centre for the official National Poetry Day Live and hear two Penned poets, Luke Kennard and Hannah Silva (Thursday, 4pm), and a host of other voices
3. Pick up a book of poems in our online shop, with 25% off all poetry titles this week