On Thursday 28 September, the UK will come alive with poetry in all its many and wonderful forms to celebrate National Poetry Day. The theme for this year is Freedom and there are lots of ways to get involved in discovering and sharing poetry in the run up to the day.

If you would like to get involved in person, there are plenty of events going on in Edinburgh to keep you busy during National Poetry Day.


Daily, 11.00am-4.30pm

Such Frail Enclaves: Things Remembered, Made Things, Things Unmade

A gathering of artworks by Brigid Collins inspired by poems by Kathleen Jamie, Diana Hendry, Seamus Heaney and others.
Thompson’s Tower, Duddingston, Edinburgh, free, no booking required.




Poetry at Lunchtime

Celebrate National Poetry Day with poet Stewart Sanderson. Sit back and enjoy listening to Stewart’s work, before sharing a favourite poem of your own with the group (be sure to take a poem to read!)
George Washington Browne Room, Edinburgh Central Library Free, booking required.



Modernist Poetry and the Little Magazine

Dr Francesca Bratton explores the relationship between modernist poetry and the little magazines that were instrumental to its development and dissemination. Drawing on the National Library’s extensive collections of literary periodicals, she offers an introduction to the key characteristics of modernist poetry.
National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh Free, booking required.



National Poetry Day Event with Don Paterson

Situated in the mysterious and culturally significant grounds of Jupiter Artland, among key contemporary art works, Paterson will read from selected works for this unique event which is co-hosted by the Scottish Poetry Library.
Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh, Tickets £12, booking required.



Edinburgh: Singing the City

The launch of Edinburgh: Singing the City, a collection of poetry inspired by Edinburgh and its citizens by Edinburgh Makar Christine De Luca.
Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh, Tickets £5, booking required.




Each year the Scottish Poetry Library produces a set of poetry cards to celebrate National Poetry Day. This year’s set of 6 cards feature poems and excerpts by Julia Donaldson, Alec Finlay, John Barbour, Kathleen Jamie, Peter Mackay, and an anonymous poet.

These poems can be downloaded as posters online, or picked up in public libraries in Scotland.

Head on over to the National Poetry Day page on the Scottish Poetry Library’s website to download the poems and to find out more about on how you can celebrate the day in Scotland.

Using #NationalPoetryDay you can suggest your own favourite poems on the theme of freedom, enter competitions to win prizes for your own poetry, and download free resources to get poetry into your school.

William Sieghart, founder of the Forward Arts Foundation in 1991, created National Poetry Library Day in 1994 as a way of celebrating the coming together of all things poetical.

The Day enjoys the support of the BBC, Arts Council England, the Royal Mail and leading literary and cultural organisations, alongside booksellers, publishers, libraries and schools.

Everyone is invited to join in, whether by organising events, displays, competitions or by simply posting favourite lines of poetry on social media using #nationalpoetryday.


Edinburgh is home to several poetic happenings during the year, with groups such as Inky Fingers, Interrobang?!, Illicit Ink, and Neu! Reekie! hosting evenings of spoken word performance.

Check our events section to keep track of Edinburgh’s literary events.


Doors Open Day 2017: Edinburgh
23-24 September 2017
Doors Open Days is Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates heritage and the built environment. It offers free access to over a thousand venues across the country throughout September, every year.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival
20-31 October 2017
Marking the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh as a Festival City, the Festival brings you twelve days of storytelling events in Edinburgh and beyond, plus a three day storytelling conference around the themes of the Earth Charter The Festival goes global and demonstrates how the traditional art of storytelling is more vital than ever in connecting people worldwide, across cultures, places and generations..

Book Week Scotland 2017
27 November–3 December 2017
Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading that takes place every November. During Book Week, people of all ages and walks of life will come together in libraries, schools, community venues and workplaces to share and enjoy books and reading. They will be joined in this celebration by Scotland’s authors, poets, playwrights, storytellers and illustrators to bring a packed programme of events and projects to life.