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National Poetry Day announces recommended reads for 2021

Forward Arts Foundation, organisers of National Poetry Day have today announced their lists of recommended reads for National Poetry Day 2021, which this year will be Thursday 7th October.

Their lists feature forty-three inspiring new poetry books from twenty-six publishers. The selection is their biggest yet, reflecting the vibrancy of poetry publishing, particularly from small presses which make more appearances on the list than ever before.

The Reading Agency will promote the recommended titles to 4,000-plus reading groups in its network, and the titles will feature in the National Poetry Day schools engagement campaign in partnership with CLPE, Teach Primary and the National Literacy Trust. Free, downloadable National Poetry Day resources are available to education providers. Last year, there were 22,000 downloads of the resources.

Bookshops, libraries and schools will receive display material including posters, bookmarks, stickers, and badges.

With lists for adults, young adults, children and book groups, they celebrate new releases from Sarah Crossan, Raymond Antrobus, Kate Fox, Caleb Femi and Manjeet Mann to name a few. They also have reading notes for the book groups list, to help prompt discussion in book groups on the selected titles.


The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (Andersen)

50 Ways to Score a Goal and Other Football Poems by Brian Bilston (Macmillan Children's)

Moo by Sharon Creech, illustrated by Sarah Horne (Guppy Books)

Frankenstiltskin: Fairy Tales Gone Bad by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Freya Hartas (Walker)

Take Off Your Brave: Poems Just for You by Nadim, illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail (Walker)

Saturdays at the Imaginarium by Shauna Darling Robertson, illustrated by Judith Wisdom (Troika)

Little Light by Coral Rumble (Troika)

Yapping Away by Joshua Seigal, illustrated by Sarah Horne (Bloomsbury Education)

Everyone Sang: A Poem for Every Feeling edited by William Sieghart, illustrated by Emily Sutton (Walker)

Polka Dot Poems: 100 weird and wonderful nature haiku by Zaro Weil, illustrated by Lucy Wynne (Troika)

Daydreams and Jellybeans by Alexander Wharton, illustrated by Katy Riddell (Firefly)

Sofia the Dreamer and her Magical Afro by Jessica Wilson, illustrated by Tom Rawles (Tallawah Publishing)

Young Adult

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (Bonnier Books UK)

The Girl Who Became a Tree by Joseph Coelho (Otter-Barry)

Tomorrow Is Beautiful by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury)

A Poem for Every Day of the Year edited by Allie Esiri (Macmillan Children's)

The Crossing by Manjeet Mann (Penguin)

Cherry Cola by Mara Nkere (Eyewear)

Wrecked by Louisa Reid (Guppy Books)

Wonder: The Natural History Museum Poetry Book edited by Ana Sampson (Macmillan Children's)

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam (HarperCollins Children's)

And don't forget that you still have a few weeks to enter the LoveReading4Kids Poetry Prize that we run each year in collaboration with National Poetry Day. Open for poetry lovers aged 5-11, find out more here

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