National Poetry Day: How the UK is celebrating, including Channel 4, Prince Charles, and The Royal Mail

Poems by young refugees and migrants will air before each programme on Channel 4

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Across the country, thousands of people are celebrating National Poetry Day, including The Prince of Wales, Channel 4, and St Pancras International station in London. Here’s how the UK is celebrating National Poetry Day, the theme of which is "say it with a poem”.

How the UK is celebrating National Poetry Day

On Channel 4, poems by young refugees and migrants will air before each programme, taking the place of the normal introductory shorts. 

The Prince of Wales has recorded a reading of Seamus Heaney's poem The Shipping Forecast which will be heard on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

The Royal Mail are postmarking items for National Poetry Day, while 40 local BBC radio stations will each broadcast a poem commissioned by a poet from their respected areas.

St Pancras International station will distribute poetry-themed tickets to travellers, who will also be treated to poets performing throughout the day.

PJ Harvey will collaborate with young poetry producers who will be curating readings, films, performances and workshops at the Southbank Centre.

In Wales, four poets are attempting to compose 100 new poems in 24 hours, with their subject matter chosen by the public.

National Poetry Day director Susannah Herbert told Press Association: "A poem can reach places that prose just can't.

"That's why we're inviting all with anything important to say today to say it with a poem. It can be new or old, utterly original or a familiar favourite.

"It can be deep and dark, funny or memorable. By enjoying, discovering or sharing a poem - words that draw attention to themselves - you change the nature of the national conversation."

Last year the likes of JK Rowling, Ellen DeGeneres and Sir Paul McCartney all shared poems on social media. The day is organised by the Forward Arts Foundation charity, which describes itself as being "committed to widening poetry's audience, honouring achievement and supporting talent”.

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