Nottingham City of Literature is celebrating World Poetry Day (21st March) with two special World Poetry Day events, ‘Pizza & Poetry’ organised by our Youth Advisory Board on Thursday 21st March, and a special Speak Easy open mic night on Friday 22nd March. We are keen to inspire more young people to enjoy reading, writing and performing poetry this World Poetry Day.

In celebration of World Poetry Day, I’ve put together a special TikTok series called Words of the City’, which links poems to three of our favourite Nottingham landmarks.

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem: the oldest pub not just in Nottingham, but arguably in the world! As the pub dates back to 1189, we reminisce on its longstanding presence in Nottingham. In British culture, pubs are an important place to relax, socialise and have fun.

  • ‘Oh, When I Was In Love With You’ poem by A.E Housman, published in 1896, talks about lost love and how it transformed the poet. The collection of poems that ‘Oh When I Was In Love With You’ is part of explores  the poet’s rejection by a fellow student at university. Read the poem here.

Old Market Square: A key Nottingham landmark, home to the legendary Left (and Right) Lion, markets, flash mobs, skaters, fairground rides, and at times, even a beach!  Old Market Square This landmark is a hub of so many things: shops, restaurants, bars, and people watching!

  • Gary Roe’s poem ‘Around Market Square 1971’ was published in 1993. Before getting into poetry, Roe was a miner in Nottingham. The struggles and joys of being a miner are expressed through his poetry, as well as his interest in local history and tales from his childhood. In this poem,  Roe reminisces on Old Market Square as a memorable and lively location filled with spectacular characters. Read the poem here.

Nottingham Castle: This stunning, medieval castle overlooks the city upon a hill, and its omnipresence stays with us from dusk till dawn. Home to the infamous Sheriff of Nottingham, archenemy of Nottingham icon Robin Hood, the Castle has endured restoration, reconstruction and renovation over the centuries.

  • Philip James Bailey’s poem ‘Nottingham Castle’ reminds us that the Castle has historically stood strong amongst its troubles. The castle is celebrated for overcoming  monumental milestones, including  civil wars and the imprisonment of kings.  Bailey was a Nottingham-born and bred poet whose works focused on theology and philosophy. Read the poem here.

Check out our World Poetry Day 2024 ‘Words of the City’ series on Tiktok @nottinghamcityoflit!