National Poetry Day 2018

04th October 2018 12:30
Kings Cross
Shifting Dimensions: National Poetry Day 2018

This National Poetry Day, Poet in the City transports you inside four of Kings Cross’s most fascinating facilities, inviting you to explore the themes of change and transformation through an exciting programme of live poetry performances and discussion. From the societal shifts in attitude and the activists that instigate them, to the blossoming biological patterns of the natural world and the alternating architecture we build upon it, we’ll be using poetry to interpret the meaning of change throughout our environment.

Shifting Dimensions

Matter of Stuff Exhibition Space

7.30 - 8.30pm

Free Admission: Booking Essential

To bring National Poetry Day 2018 to a climactic close, we’re inviting all our poets from throughout the day to join us for a spectacular evening finale, celebrating change and transformation in its many forms.

Join us on a poetry promenade through the shifting dimensions of the Matter of Stuff exhibition space, exploring three different poetry pods encapsulating the themes of each of our day events: change through activism, biological change, and architectural change.

At the end of the evening we invite everyone to come to discuss and make merry, with a glass of wine and good company!


Throughout the day:

Meet a Scientist: National Poetry Day Special
Deconstructing Patterns Exhibition, Francis Crick Institute
Free Admission
Join us at the Francis Crick Institute as we unpick the billions of interlacing patterns threading together the natural world and enter the extraordinary universe of biological change.

From before we are born our cells shift and change, replicating and transforming in time, reacting to their ever-changing environment. This National Poetry Day we join the Francis Crick Institute’s ongoing investigation into intricate cellular patterns and transformations, with poet Helen Mort and two scientists on hand to bring Crick science to life and to answer any questions that you might have about life in the lab.

Delve into the form, function and rhythm of the genome as you explore the poetry pods in the Deconstructing Patterns exhibition, made in collaboration with Poet in the City over the last year. Now, we place poetic storyteller Mort and two Crick researchers into the exhibition, inviting them to engage with the selection of artworks on display and share snippets of science and live poetry.

Make That Change

Great Court, British Museum

1 - 2pm
Free Admission
Acclaimed American playwright Bonnie Greer and South African poet Leeto Thale celebrate both Black History Month and and National Poetry Day by taking a look through time to explore the role of activism in instigating change.

Acquiring British citizenship over twenty years ago, Bonnie Greer has experienced its multicultural landscape shift and change, but not without a fight. A resolute civil rights activist, Greer has campaigned for diversity in the Arts from the inside out. She now invites you to look at pivotal points of progress and activism in her own life through readings of the poems that inspired her struggles and excerpts from her second novel Entropy . Following Bonnie’s readings, South African poet and artist Leeto Thale performs poems in honour of Nelson Mandela to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth.

If These Walls Could Talk

UCL Quad, Gower Street
Free Admission
As times change and buildings remain, how do the stories cemented within their walls influence how we live today?

Established in 1826, UCL has a long and varied history that is etched into its architecture. Many of the university’s spaces and buildings used today are named after academics and architects from the past.

Amongst these are the Galton Lecture Theatre, the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and the Pearson Building, named after eugenicists Francis Galton, Flinders Petrie and Karl Pearson. As well as making contributions to science, archaeology and statistics, in the nineteenth century these men helped develop and legitimise the science of improving human populations by selective breeding in the UK.

As part of National Poetry Day, poet and former industrial archaeologist Jo Bell, and poet and playwright Yomi Sode will explore how our ideas of ourselves and our lives are shaped by the space around us. One brick at a time, they deconstruct the societal effects of architecture, and ask how important it is to decolonise our environments to create a safe space for all through an afternoon of live poetry performance and discussion.
2.30 - 3pm: Creating Community 

In the spirit of community, come and join us in constructing our stage for today


3 - 4pm: Poets' Poets

UCL presents their exceptional homegrown poetry talent with performances from poets: Sharon Morris, Bridget Minamore, Eric Langley, Declan Ryan and Mark Ford


4 - 5.30pm: Poet in the City presents

Join poets Yomi Sode, Jo Bell and academic and curator Subhadra Das for live poetry performances and discussion uncovering the power dynamics and social history hidden in some of London and UCL's most beloved buildings 

In partnership with UCL Culture.


NPD 2018 map 1

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