National Poetry Day Live

National Poetry Day Live is back for a free evening of poetry in the newly reopened Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer.

Join us to hear radical poetry that looks at this year's theme of 'change'.

Hear the poets that are bringing about shifts in culture and society through their work and inspiring generations of young poets, including Anthony Anaxagorou, Mary Jean Chan, Caroline Bird and Zaffar Kunial.

Presented by Southbank Centre and The Poetry Society.

Anthony Anaxagorou is a British-born Cypriot award-winning poet, fiction writer, essayist, publisher and poetry educator. He has published nine volumes of poetry, a spoken-word EP and a collection of short stories. His poetry and fiction have appeared across radio and television and he has been published in numerous poetry magazines and journals. In 2017, he was shortlisted for the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship. He works as the writer in residence at two London secondary schools and has lectured in universities across the country.

Caroline Bird has had five poetry collections published by Carcanet with the latest, In These Days of Prohibition, shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and the 2017 Ted Hughes Award. Caroline has been shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize twice, in 2008 and 2010. She was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2014. She has also won an Eric Gregory Award (2002) and the Foyle Young Poet of the Year award two years running (1999, 2000), and was a winner of the Poetry London Competition in 2007 and the Peterloo Poetry Competition in 2004, 2003 and 2002.

Mary Jean Chan is a poet, editor and academic from Hong Kong. She was shortlisted for the 2017 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem, and came second in the 2017 National Poetry Competition. Her debut pamphlet, A Hurry of English, was published in February 2018 by ignitionpress (Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre), and was recently selected as the 2018 Poetry Book Society Summer Pamphlet Choice. Chan is a Ledbury Emerging Poetry Critic and a co-editor of Oxford Poetry. Her debut collection will be published by Faber & Faber in July 2019.

Zaffar Kunial was born in Birmingham and currently lives in Shipley, Yorkshire. Kunial published a pamphlet in the Faber New Poets series in 2014 and was Poet-in-Residence at the Wordsworth Trust the same year. In 2011 he won third prize in the National Poetry Competition with ‘Hill Speak’. He was specially commissioned, alongside other poets, by the Poetry Society to write a response to the centenary of the First World in a collection called The Pity, which premiered live at Southbank Centre in 2014. His debut collection, Us, is out this year with Faber & Faber.

Dates & times

4 Oct 2018
Approximate run time: 90 mins
Run times may vary, find out more


Queen Elizabeth Hall
Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer



need to know

Age recommendation
For ages 14+.