World Poetry Day: discover First World War Centenary Partnership literary events

20 March 2014 | Kate Clements

World Poetry Day is happening on 21 March 2014, with events around the globe celebrating poetry, poets and writing.

The First World War Centenary Partnership is presenting a broad range of readings, workshops and events inspired by the poetry and literature of the First World War.

Here at, you can find out about a range of events that will remember and reinterpret the war poets, facilitate the creation of contemporary poems from people of all ages and delve into modern novels that tackle the subject.

In Broxbourne, the local council are offering anyone living in Hertfordshire the chance to enter a First World War poetry competition. Each poem will be themed around the concept of war and peace and will feature in an exhibition from 31 March.

On 1 April, First World War poetry will be explored at The Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon. This event will include interactive workshops and talks from experts.

The University of Oxford Faculty of English Language and Literature is hosting the conference “British” World War One Poetry on 3 – 5 April 2014. The conference will discuss British literature from the years 1914-18, and examine women poets, as well as Irish and “Empire” poets.

‘Poetry and Parades: The Jewish East End at War’ will be held at the Jewish Museum London on 6 April. Poet and artist Isaac Rosenberg will be among those discussed in this new tour.

In April, City Read – an annual initiative that asks London’s citizens, workers and visitors to pick up the same book and read it together – will commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Novels My dear, I wanted to tell you by Louisa Young and Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful will be read across all the London boroughs. London libraries will host a series of events that will bring the themes of First World War literature to life. Search the Centenary Events Calendar to find a City Read event happening near you.

At Barbican Library, life in the trenches will be told through the words of the First World War poets at ‘The Great War Remembered: Poetry and Readings’ on 30 April. Each poem will be performed by the Keats House Poetry Ambassadors.

There are many more events listed in our Centenary Events Calendar, and new events and activities will be added each week throughout the centenary, so make sure to check what is happening near you.