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This item is taken from PN Review 235, Volume 43 Number 5, May - June 2017.

THE INTERNATIONAL CALENDAR is littered with poetry occasions. Portugal’s national day is called Camoes Day after the author of Os Luciadas. 21 August is said to be National Poet’s Day in the uk (or National Poets’ Day, depending on your politics). Every Friday someone downs tools early and declares it POETS day.* New Zealand celebrates poetry this year on 25 August. We are always geared up for the uk’s National Poetry Day with its ‘themes’ (2000: Fresh Voices, 2004: Food; 2009: Heroes and Heroines; 2013: Water, water everywhere; 2017: Freedom). It was founded by William Sieghart in 1994 and has reached its majority. This year it occurs on 28 September. Scheduled activities already abound, jointly and severally, in every conflicted corner of Great Britain. Ireland celebrates in April. Americans and Canadians have a whole National Poetry Month: May.

In March this year, however, World Poetry Day (traditionally the first day of Spring, as it happens) caught us on the hop. We were abruptly reminded of it when a book-trade journal asked us – just after noon the day before – to answer a fistful of questions:

1. How is the poetry market performing at the moment in comparison to previous years?

2. Why are poetry sales doing so well?

3. Are young people driving up sales specifically?

4. Is social media and performance helping to reinvigorate poetry/transform perceptions of it for young people?

5. Are current politics making poetry relevant ...

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