Entertainment & Arts

Prince Charles launches National Poetry Day with Heaney poem

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Media captionThe Prince of Wales reads Seamus Heaney's The Shipping Forecast

The Prince of Wales has been heard reading Seamus Heaney's poem The Shipping Forecast poem to mark National Poetry Day.

The recording was broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today as part of the annual nationwide poetry celebration.

This year's theme is Messages, and the public are being encouraged to "say it with a poem".

The Royal Mail will also use a special postmark on millions of items on Thursday.

In addition, 40 BBC local radio stations have engaged 40 poets to celebrate England's best-loved local landmarks in verse.

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Media captionNational Poetry Day: Poems map England's landscape

"A poem can reach places that prose just can't," National Poetry Day director Susannah Herbert said.

"That's why we're inviting all with anything important to say today to say it with a poem. It can be new or old, utterly original or a familiar favourite.

"It can be deep and dark, funny or memorable. By enjoying, discovering or sharing a poem - words that draw attention to themselves - you change the nature of the national conversation."

Image caption PJ Harvey, who played Glastonbury earlier this year, will join the celebrations

Other poetry events around the UK include:

  • In Wales, four young poets have been locked up to compose 100 poems in 24 hours.
  • In Scotland, 380,000 poetry postcards have been given away by the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh. In Glasgow, poets, librarians and Big Issue street vendors will give poetry readings around the city.
  • In Northern Ireland, the finals of the Ireland National Poetry competition are being held at the Parliament Buildings in Stormont.
  • Singer PJ Harvey will collaborate with young poetry producers at London's Southbank Centre.
  • Poems by young refugees and migrants will replace the short video introductions that appear before each programme on Channel 4.
  • Poetry-themed tickets are being distributed to passengers at St Pancras International station in London.

The Poetry Society also announced the top 15 winners and 85 commended poets of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2016 at London's Festival Hall.

Image caption Judge Malika Booker (far left) and with some of the Foyle award winners

Twelve of the winners were photographed in London with judge Malika Booker - Priya Bryant, Aisha Mango Borja, Cyrus Larcombe-Moore, Eva Brand Whitehead, Lucy Thynne, Emily Franklin, Sophia Carney, Allegra Mullan, Emily Dee, Roberta Sher, Jennie Howitt, and Yasmin Inkersole.

The other three winners, who were unable to make it to London for the ceremony, were Letitia Chan, Steven Chung and Finn Scarr de Haas van Dorsser.

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