We hope that you, your loved ones and students are all well during these strange times! You will have seen that many arts organisations have sadly had to shut their doors for the time being, but we want to let you all know that we are here for you and will continue to share the best poetry and celebrate creativity across the world. The Poetry Society is working from home and still running digitally. Over the weeks to come, we’ll be sharing lots of amazing ideas, poetry and poetry resources for everyone from our website.
The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is still happening, and we want young people’s poems!
Students at home can enter the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award. It is free to enter and the prizes are brilliant, including publication and continuing development opportunities from The Poetry Society, Poetry Society membership, Arvon writing retreat, bag of poetry books and not least chocolate! Deadline to enter is the 31 July 2020 and it is open to young people from across the world! We want to hear what young people have to say and what better way to do this, than through the creative medium of poetry. All entrants must be aged 11-17 years old on the date of the deadline. The easiest way to enter is to go to the competition website, which is foyleyoungpoets.org. Get inspired by reading last year’s top 15 winning poems and the 85 commended poems. If you would like a digital competition pack, then please email Alice Watson on firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can access so many wonderful poems, poetry opportunities and resources from our website for absolutely free. Our teaching resources are fun, engaging and a brilliant way to keep yourselves and your students continuing to think creatively, especially when teaching remotely or sharing resources with parents and carers.
You will also see more online material from amazing poets available from our website in the coming weeks, as we recognise that many of you may have to teach remotely and parents/carers will need more educational material so that their children can continue to be creative!
If you work with young people who are also over 17 years old then do check out our amazing website, the Young Poets Network, which has lots of features, challenges and brilliant poetry written by young people from across the world.
Poetry by Heart – Finals cancelled
Some of you may have taken part in the Department for Education’s recitation project Poetry by Heart. Given the circumstances, the organisers (The Full English) and their partner organisations (The Poetry Society among them) have cancelled the competition finals that were due to take place on 19th and 23rd March. However, watch this space for the results of the competition and how you can engage in next year’s competition.
Poet in Schools
We understand that as schools are shutting up shop for a while, there will be no Poets in Schools workshops taking place. However we can still plan for the future and arrange a booking for you later in the year. To get in touch about a Poet in School booking then please fill in our enquiry form, from The Poetry Society website.
We are all in this together and we will be united
A lot of us look to poetry in times of crisis. We’re here for you all and will continue to brighten up your day with a good dose of powerful poetry which can help us to be creative, empathetic and united. Follow us on @poetrysociety and @youngpoetsnet on Twitter, and on Facebook (@poetrysociety) and Instagram (@thepoetrysociety) for all the latest ideas.
Here’s Clare Pollard’s amazing poem The Gift¸ inspired by thoughts and images from children at Hampden Gurney, St Stephen’s, Our Lady of Dolours, St Matthew’s and St Peter’s C of E Primary School.
The Gift by Clare Pollard with thoughts and images dreamt up by London schoolchildren
I walk through Winter’s city,
my footsteps stain the snow.
The darkness shuts like curtains.
It’s later than I know.
Dark is a heart that’s breaking,
Dark is a dream you lose.
Dark is a pounding headache
that makes the world a maze
and then a speck of something,
I see a candle-flame –
a tiny seed that flickers.
I hear Hope say my name.
The seed becomes a golden flower
of pouring light, a gift.
I need you to believe, Hope says.
It’s you makes me exist.
I feel bright feathers lifting.
I hear a tiger’s roar.
I’ve taken many forms, Hope says –
changing is what I’m for.
At Christmas-time I settle
into the shape of tree –
alive, sharp, resin rising.
Hope shines and darkness flees
and I can see a future
as clocks chime their late hour
for Hope will be our present,
and Hope will give us power.