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Join us in celebrating National Poetry Day

For a fourth year, the Science Museum Group is bringing together science and poetry to mark National Poetry Day (3 October 2024).

The Science Museum Group is inviting poets to submit a piece based on objects in our collection. Anyone and everyone is welcome to submit a poem. You can find your object muse by using our online tools: dive straight in with our Random Object Generator or let our Never Been Seen tool select an object from our archives. 

Each poem we receive represents an individual discovering an object in our collection for the first time and taking part in the act of ‘slow looking’ – that is to say, they took the time to connect with and understand their object over an extended period of time.  

Last year a record number of imaginative and creative poems were submitted to our call-out. Poets wrote as if they were the object, or they considered the process of the maker, what the object contributed to science or what the object meant personally to them.  

They were by turn inspiring, funny, heartbreaking and inquisitive.  

The poems also came in a huge variety of forms – from sonnets to narrative poems, odes to haikus. The themes were similarly varied: the universe, cooking, travel, light, atoms, nature of sand, just to give a few examples. You can read last year’s shortlisted poems.  Each poem has a link through to the object inspiration. 

This exciting project highlights once again the age-old but often overlooked alliance between science and the arts and you can be part of this! 

To submit a poem, simply upload it through our form, along with your contact details.  

If you require an alternate method for submission, please let us know. 

The deadline for submissions is Sunday 15 September, midnight. Entries should be submitted via the online form. All submissions will be reviewed by a panel and a selection of successful poems will be posted on our platforms on National Poetry Day, Thursday 3 October. 

For more information, please see are entrant terms and conditions.