I have some pretty awesome news.
I’m sure some of you are aware of the Poetry By Heart competition, which is a nationwide competition to encourage young people to memorise and recite poetry (if not, here’s the website!)
For my area, the county finals were held in Birmingham Central Library and it was both the Staffordshire County and Birmingham & Black Country county final, so there were two separate winners.
There was a judging panel and big audience; it was quite overwhelming. We had to recite two poems, one pre 1914, and one post 1914. I picked two that I really loved.
(Note: If looking for a new poem to fall for, have a read through Poetry By Heart’s amazing online anthology.)
It was pretty scary, I have to admit- I’d practiced a lot, and I knew the words off by heart, but you’re never sure if you’re going to freeze or cough or end up forgetting everything and saying the wrong thing entirely.
Now, my nerves were not helped by the fact that every single entrant was absolutely amazing. It was a lot to go up against, everyone was filled with expression and passion for the poetry.
The fantastic thing about winning the county finals is the trip to Cambridge- and all expenses paid weekend in Homerton College! There winners compete in regional finals, and then- if they get through those- in the national final on the following day.
So, I was surprised and thrilled when my name was read out as the Staffordshire county winner!!!!!
Yes: I have never been so shocked! I received a gold envelope and poetry books – I don’t think I’ve realised this is actually happened yet, I’m still processing the whole thing.
Well, Cambridge: it’s going to be such a fascinating experience, and probably very inspiring- hopefully I will end up writing some of my own poetry about the trip!
Speaking of poetry competitions: it’s not too late to enter Young Staffordshire Stanza! You know what to do: information is here!
More poetry news soon,