Posted: 13 September 2011
Wednesday 7 September at one north London school turned out to be a far cry from your average first day back at school after the summer holidays. Shortly before midday, students at Alexandra Park School were gathered in the school's reception area to greet HRH The Duchess of Cornwall who, along with Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, was in school to launch Anthologise, a national poetry competition for secondary schools.
Anthologise is a competition for school students aged 11-18 to create their own anthologies of poetry. The winning anthology will be chosen by a prestigious panel of judges including Carol Ann Duffy; National Poet for Wales, Gillian Clarke; Scots Makar, Liz Lochhead; poet John Agard; poet Grace Nichols; and Cambridge Professor of Children's Poetry, Morag Styles. The winning anthology will then be published by Picador, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, in 2013.
And so, back to Alexandra Park School on 7 September, playing host to over 40 students, including those from flagship schools around the country whose early interest in the competition led to their involvement in the launch. The students took part in poetry workshops with teachers and judges before gathering in the library to hear Carol Ann Duffy, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and students read some of their favourite poems. One teacher was heard to mutter, "with all this going on, I haven't prepared a single lesson plan for tomorrow!" No matter, the focus today was exclusively on poetry. Carol Ann Duffy spoke of poetry as "a necessary and nourishing part of our lives" and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall was delighted to unveil an impressive poetry tree which she declared was a first for her in her many unveiling engagements. The school's head teacher, Mr McKenzie, signalled to the press photographers to come forward for more photo opportunities, explaining "we were up all night painting this!"
The Anthologise website provides everything you need to know about the competition, including guidelines, resources, tips from poets and anthologists on how to put together a good poetry anthology and the downloadable entry form. The closing date for the competition is 1 March 2012.
The competition is administered by the Poetry Book Society and supported by Picador and Waterstone's. Partners are: Bath Festivals, Manchester Children's Book Festival, Manchester Metropolitan University, Homerton College University of Cambridge, Saison Poetry Library, The Scottish Poetry Library and Literature Wales.
Categories: Poetry News