National Poetry Day and the Call for Change
Change is everywhere. It is a spectre that occupies every space and crevice of our lives. It is inescapable. It sneaks up on us without the slightest indication of its presence until it decides to reveal itself and only then, does it make its grand entrance.
Some of you have already welcomed change into your lives by anticipating that this new semester will be different or equally as challenging as the last. Even then, it is possible that you have caught yourself at least once in the past few days and weeks, reminiscing on how quickly summer has passed by along with all the memories of it. Perhaps, you are still in disbelief that we are now in autumn and that Christmas is only 83 days away? Or, you have, at one point in time, pondered on how much you might have changed this year for the better or sadly, for the worse? Either way, the important thing to remember about change is that while it is unavoidable and sometimes unbearable, it is vital for the betterment of not only our whole being but also of society.
Change possesses a god-like capacity to make or mar us, which has been seen throughout history and yet it is arguable whether another medium can document the effects of change with as much detail as literature.
Today, there is a general consensus that we are living in a post-truth era where the freedom of speech, now occupies No Man’s Land, a terrain between the territories of political correctness and hate speech. So, in times of social and political sensitivity, how can literature mediate and unite our different realities of the world we live in? Well, one way is through the revolutionary power of poetry.
Poetry uses the power of words to disrupt our fictions about the existing world and transforms those fictions into ideas about new possibilities for the future, which is exactly what the UK’s National Poetry Day intends to exhibit on Thursday 4th October 2018 in this year’s instalment that is centred on the subject of change.
About National Poetry Day:
National Poetry Day was established by the Forwards Art Foundation in 1994 with the support of Arts Council England alongside notable publishers, booksellers, schools and other leading literary and cultural organisations. The program itself is an annual celebration of poetry across the UK to discover poems through events such as competitions, displays and sharing poems on social media with the hashtag #NationalPoetryDay.
This year’s National Poetry Day program is also partnering with the BBC radio stations to commission regional poets including Andrew “Mulletproof” Graves, our local representative for BBC East Midlands, to deconstruct this year’s change-themed project into a series of stories and perspectives on the power of poetry to change how we interpret and interact with the world under the hashtag #PoetryForAChange.
What Else To Expect This Year:
The Forwards Arts Foundation has planned thousands of synchronised events across the UK that you can take part in. So be sure to keep a look out in libraries, bookshops and on buses or trains to see what’s is happening locally. There is also a writing poetry competition run by Caboodle.
To enter, you will need to write a short poem of up to 20 words to be sent via Caboodle’s website before midnight on 7th October. The winner will receive a £100 personalised National Book Token with their featuring their own poem and a box of new poetry worth £300 that includes The Forward Book of Poetry 2019.