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Poetry by Heart

I was very pleased to be asked to act as compere for the Bedfordshire round of Poetry by Heart – a schools poetry recital competition – on February 8th. Bedford Central Library provided venue and organisation, we recruited three excellent, varied judges and the competitors were a delight. The event turned out to be a combined Bedfordshire/Northamptonshire final and it was very fitting that one competitor from each county made the winner/runner up slots and so will progress to the national finals in late March.

I’d very strongly urge more schools to take part next year. Not only are the resources supplied excellent and the experience of internalising a poem really worthwhile but the prizes are great too. All the competitors received books (which increased in somewhat in number and greatly in weight for the eventual top three) while the winner and runner up at the county level progress to a national final. National finalists get to spend a weekend in London (expenses paid) with tours and events to keep them busy, while they progress through final elimination rounds for the chance to be crowned champion for the year. Take a look at the website