student a Top 10 National Finalist in poetry competition

Wednesday May 6, 2020

After 6.1 student Rose was selected as Shropshire’s county winner in the Key Stage 5 ‘Poetry by Heart’ competition this academic year, she has since placed in the top ten students nationally, in an exciting virtual national final. Rose performed two poems – London by William Blake, and Exposure by Wilfred Owen. Rose’s ability was ‘highly commended’ by judges, comprising a fantastic team of poets and poetry experts: Glyn Maxwell, Daljit Nagra, Paul Munden, Valerie Bloom, Raymond Antrobus and Joshua Seigal; expert poetry anthologist Allie Esiri, and poetry educators Charlotte Hacking of CLPE and David Whitley of Homerton College, Cambridge. London by William Blake “We enjoyed this engaging rendition of Blake’s vision in a voice with much range and beauty. This performance was very nicely paced, with every word and phrase given proper attention.” Exposure by Wilfred Owen “This was a moving version of this dismal Owen poem, deeply-felt and well-enacted. You dealt with the repetition really well, giving new depth to the final line. We particularly admired how 'a dull rumour of some other war' came across as so distant.” Said Julie Blake, Director of Poetry by Heart: “We involved all of our wonderful poetry judges virtually, maintaining the same high standards of judging and moderation. “Being in the top 10 of a national competition is an outstanding achievement. Congratulations! Thank you for taking part in Poetry by Heart 2019-2020. “Though Rose was not ultimately placed in the top 3, each finalist will receive a prize, and we would love to see Rose perform at our finalists’ showcase event, which we hope to hold in October, Covid-19 circumstances permitting.” Rose, who is considering studying Sociology at university, has since been invited to share her final performances on the Poetry by Heart website, in a special 2019-2020 finalists’ online showcase. Reflecting on the experience, Rose said: “This whole competition has been a rollercoaster of a ride due to COVID-19, but I felt like the track stopped twisting and turning to shoot upwards when I heard that out of all 48 counties, my performance was ranked in the top 10! “I’m very excited to attend the Poetry by Heart event in the next academic year, where I’ll have the opportunity to perform my poems on stage. I’m also thrilled that both of my final recordings will be publicly available on their website. “The competition helped me channel my love for performing into a fulfilling competition that loves poetry – perhaps even more than I do! “I’d like to finally thank Concord’s SpeakSoc for helping me grow as a performer and thank Mrs Wear for her continued support.” Julie Blake added: “We’ll be announcing next year’s competition very soon and we’d love to see Concord in it again after the fantastic success in reaching the finals this year! “We couldn’t do this without the teachers and librarians who make Poetry by Heart available to students in such vibrant, imaginative and thoughtful ways.”