The Winners are decided on Poetry Together’s Competition Finals Day

By School House

2 years ago

School pupils and senior citizens took to the stage at Sancton Wood School in Cambridge on Tuesday 1 November to compete in the Poetry Together 2022 Poetry Writing Competition Finals. They faced an illustrious judging panel made up of Gyles Brandreth, Waterstones Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho and award-winning poet and author Lucy Cuthew.

Gyles Brandreth at Sancton Wood School
Gyles Brandreth at Sancton Wood School

The pupils from junior and senior schools, as well as senior citizens, were the selected finalists in this latest initiative from Poetry Together, the charity founded by Gyles Brandreth that aims to bring the young and old together through the joy of performing poetry by heart.

This year’s competition invited students and older adults to write their own short poem on the theme of Laughter & Tears. More than 500 submissions were received from across the UK. Those shortlisted travelled to Sancton Wood School to perform their poems aloud in front of the judging panel.

A number of local Cambridge schools and proud grandparents attended the event, too, and everyone who came enjoyed poetry workshops with both Lucy Cuthew and Joseph Coelho.

The final winners were:

Joint winners (Juniors)
Benjamin Andrews, aged 10, Gift Wrap at Christmas
Georgina Wall, aged 11, A Poppy Field

Joint winners (Seniors)
Isabella Davison, aged 13, That Sickening Feeling
Kherlen Ho, aged 12, Stories with Youthful Boys

Senior Citizens
Linda Woolfson, aged 80, with The Whole Family are Coming

Poetry Together 2022 Final Winners
Poetry Together 2022 Final Winners

A selection of these winners will go on to perform their poems with Gyles Brandreth on ITV’s This Morning on national television later this month.

Poetry Together is wholly supported by Dukes Education, a family of schools to which Sancton Wood belongs.

Pupils taking part in the Poetry Together 2022 Final
Pupils taking part in the Poetry Together 2022 Final

Gyles Brandreth, writer, broadcaster, and founder of Poetry Together, said: ‘What an amazing day!  Young people and older people getting together to share the poems they had written themselves. The standard was so high. All the poems were special. Some made us laugh. Some made us cry. Some did both. You can see some of our winners on This Morning on 11 November. Thanks to Sancton Wood School for hosting such a memorable day and thanks to Dukes Education for helping to make it all happen.’

Joseph Coelho, Waterstones’ Children’s Laureate 2022-2024 and award-winning performance poet, playwright and children’s author said: ‘The Poetry Together competition was a complete joy to judge. There is something magical about seeing young and old poets equally inspired by themes of the heart, equally thrilled (and perhaps a little nervous) at stepping on stage to share a poem and equally delighted at the uproar of applause. Poetry brings people together.’

Lucy Cuthew, poet and award-winning author, said: ‘It was a really special day. It was wonderful to be with young and old, as we came together to enjoy some poetry. The whole event was so much fun. Hearing poetry read aloud is so transformative! I can’t wait for next year!’

See Sancton Wood School’s online listing here.