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‘Epithalamion, Memorial Day’ by R.A. Villanueva for National Poetry Day 2016

On October 6th, it’s National Poetry Day 2016, the annual mass celebration of poetry and all things poetical. The theme for this year is ‘Messages: Say it with a Poem‘, so we’ve asked a generous handful of our Poetry School tutors for a poem with a message to share with the world.

As the clock ticks down to National Poetry Day, we’re posting a poem a day. Today it’s the sixth poem in the series: ‘Epithalamion, Memorial Day‘ by R.A. Villanueva.


This poem was first published in The Common

R.A. Villanueva’s debut collection of poetry, Reliquaria, was selected by Kwame Dawes as the winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize and published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2014. New writing appears or is forthcoming in Poetry, the American Poetry Review, Prac Crit, The Wolf, and widely elsewhere. A founding editor of Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art, he lives in Brooklyn and London.

National Poetry Day, the annual mass celebration of poetry and all things poetical, takes place on Thursday 6 October 2016. It is an initiative of the Forward Arts Foundation, a charity that celebrates excellence in poetry and widens its audience. They bring together leading poetry, literacy and literary organisations around a shared purpose: promoting the enjoyment, discovery and sharing of poetry.

The Poetry School is a national arts organisation providing inspiring tuition and opportunities for poets and poetry audiences. With established teaching centres throughout England as well as online courses, downloadable activities, and the world’s biggest social network dedicated to poetry – CAMPUS – the Poetry School is unique in its ability to reach and develop aspiring poets wherever they may be, both in the UK and internationally.

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