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Celebrities and poets around the country will be celebrating 16th National Poetry Day today

8th October 2009

The theme of this year's National Poetry Day is 'heroes and heroines' and the day will be marked with readings by a host of poets and celebrities including Carol Ann Duffy, John Hegley and Roger McGough.

Rare footage of poetic heroes and heroines will be shown and fun and games will include a beach-ball haiku, a woolly extravaganza from the makers of the first giant knitted poem, and the announcement of the BBC’s Nation’s Favourite Poem poll will all be happening at London's Southbank. 

Kipling's If is the nation's favourite poem:

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Click here to read the complete poem

TS Elliot has been voted the nation's favourite poem. 

The rapper poet Benjamin Zephaniah will also be performing in London and reaching those not normally inspired by poetry.  And celebrities will be appearing on television and radio throughout the day.  To find out what else is happening, please click here

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