Gyles Brandreth has launched an exciting new poetry writing competition as part of Poetry Together 2022. Appearing on ITV’s This Morning, Gyles revealed that the lucky competition winners will get the opportunity to read their poems aloud on the same programme alongside him in mid-November.
Poetry Together is wholly supported by Dukes Education. This year’s theme is Laughter & Tears and students and senior citizens are being invited to submit their own poem on this topic. Those shortlisted will attend a Finals Day in early November in Cambridge. An illustrious panel of judges including Waterstones Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho, award-winning poet and author Lucy Cuthew and writer, broadcaster, and poetry champion, Gyles, will pick the overall winners who will have the opportunity to read their own poem on national TV.
The poetry writing competition is open to all and has three age categories: students in junior school, students in senior school and senior citizens. The task is to write a funny or sad poem (or both) of no longer than 14 lines. Poems must be submitted to Poetry Together by a deadline of 12pm on Tuesday 25 October. Shortlisted finalists will then travel to Cambridge for a competition day at Sancton Wood School on Tuesday 1 November. The Finals’ Day will include poetry workshops with Joseph Coelho and Lucy Cuthew for all the attending finalists and local community schools.
Gyles Brandreth, writer, broadcaster, and founder of Poetry Together, said: ‘Poetry Together is all about young people and old people getting together and having fun through poetry. They can perform poetry that’s already written – or create their own. That’s the extra challenge we’re adding this year. Write a short poem – funny or sad – the winners of our competition will get to perform it on TV, and everyone can share their own compositions at a Poetry Together tea party.’
Joseph Coelho, Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2022-2024 and award-winning performance poet, playwright and children’s author, said: ‘Celebrating the power of poetry is at the heart of my tenure as the current Waterstones Children’s Laureate because nothing else can quite get across how we are feeling like a poem can. That’s why we turn to poetry at moments of happiness and moments of sadness because it goes beyond mere words. Poetry is for everyone, so I hope that lots of people – young and old – take up the challenge of this year’s Poetry Together celebration, and experience the joy that writing, reading and performing poetry can bring.’
Aatif Hassan, Chairman and Founder of Dukes Education, said: ‘Dukes Education is delighted to continue to support Poetry Together as it grows year on year. It is a fantastic initiative that proves not only the health and wellbeing benefits of learning and reciting poetry out loud but the social benefits too; bringing people together to share the joy of poetry is at the very heart of Poetry Together’s mission. And this year poetry lovers of all ages will have the chance to write their own poems. Good luck to everyone and I look forward to hearing some of the new compositions soon.’