Today is March 21, and that means… it is World Poetry Day, an occasion to celebrate! Here are 25 fascinating facts about World Poetry Day that you might not yet know:
- It is a global initiative to encourage reading, writing, teaching, and publishing of the poetic art form.
- 1999 was a magical year; it held the declaration that began World Poetry Day. UNESCO adopted it during its 30th session in Paris. Here is a copy of the proclamation.
- March 21 is also the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- National Poetry Month occurs in April, AFTER World Poetry Day (they are NOT synonymous)
- Are you looking for a resource to teach children about poetry? Here you go: Eight Steps for Teaching Kids Poetry.
- Even if World Poetry Day lands on a weekday (it’s a Saturday in 2015), it is not a public holiday.
- In Spanish, World Poetry Day is Día Mundial de la Poesía.
- The day is also meant to strengthen the ties between poetry and other art forms, such as music, drawing, and dance.
- Here is a quote from the UNESCO Director-General for World Poetry Day 2015: ” Poetry is the universal human song, expressing the aspiration of every woman and man to apprehend the world and share this understanding with others, through the arrangement of words in rhythm and meter.”
- Two ways to celebrate the day are by analyzing a new poem of your choice or encouraging kids to read poetry.
- The environment and poetry go hand in hand for Brock University’s Sustainability Poetry Contest.
- 2015 is the 100th anniversary of poet Akaki Tsereteli’s death (1840-1915).
- Nguyen Du was born 250 years ago (1765-1820).
- Here is a fascinating collection of art from the Christchurch Art Gallery in New Zealand that ties together word and image.
- Many people see poetry as being outdated – it’s not! Take a look at all of the amazing WordPress poetry blogs!
- Why not read a collection of poems about peace on World Poetry Day? John Lennon would approve.
- Poetry is powerful; it encourages readers’ imaginations and spurs emotions.
- Take a poetry walk. Write down one line from every image you see around you and then compile it together for an amazing poem at the end of the walk.
- Follow the hashtag #WorldPoetryDay on Twitter on March 21 to learn about events happening around the world and read fantastic poems.
- Are you in Dublin and want to enter a free poetry competition? You’re welcome (courtesy of Ballyroan Library).
- Instead of a pub crawl, how about a poetry crawl in which you write a different poem in each coffee house that you visit?
- Low on cash? Head to your library and borrow a poetry book, whether it’s March 21 or not.
- This is a tough but important read about persecuted poets around the world.
- Slam poetry is rocking the modern world. Take a moment to read an article about it or watch a video of a poetry slam competition online.
- Thank you to Lord Byron for these beautiful words from “She Walks in Beauty” to read on World Poetry Day: She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
Please take the time to celebrate World Poetry Day 2015 on March 21! Heck, let’s celebrate the beautiful artistry penned by poets around the world every single day ♥