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We’re All In This Together – Or We Are When It Comes To Poetry!

March 25th, 2016

Easter-blogIn the past, I’ve been rather scathing about Manchester Metropolitan University and their Poetry and Short Story Competitions where prize money is £10,000. As I’ve said before, giving away such enormous prizes, when students are being asked to pay £9000 a year in tuition fees, just doesn’t sit right with me. You can make a real splash and provide plenty of kudos for the winners on a much smaller budget!

But I do like one of their latest efforts – Poetry Together.  This is a collaboration between MMU, Manchester Children’s Book Festival and the British Red Cross. They say:

Poetry Together is a brand new cross-generational competition that invites children and young people to pair up with a parent, grandparent, carer, older sibling or friend, to share their ideas and create brand new poetry. The aim of the competition is to bring people together creatively, while also raising awareness of the great work that the British Red Cross do to help tackle loneliness so that they can help the most vulnerable people. Reconnecting generations and getting people talking; it’s poetry in action!”

Entry is free and the deadline is 29th April. Each entry must be a joint effort by two people – one under 18, one over 18. The poems can be in any language but if they are not in English, then a translation must be provided.  They go on to say:

“As well as each pair receiving 200 copies of their poems on specially designed postcards, all shortlisted entrants will be invited to the launch of the Manchester Children’s Book Festival (MCBF) in June, where their poetry will be shared and celebrated by Carol Ann Duffy. The overall winner will be announced at the MCBF launch event and both adult and child will be presented with the Poetry Together award. Each will also receive book-vouchers worth £250.”

I think it’s a wonderful idea, bringing generations together and at the same time showing that poetry can be fun, and is certainly for sharing!

Easter weekend marks the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin and there’s been a lot of coverage of the anniversary on TV and in the papers. As a consequence, there have also been references to W B Yeats’ poem ‘Easter 1916’. It’s a strong poem, though not one of my favourites. But one of his poems that I do find powerful – and even more relevant at the moment –  is The Second Coming. If you’re not familiar with it, read it and see what you think!

And moving on to something a little more cheerful, I can’t send you all a chocolate egg, but I do have a ‘sweetie’ for you. Until Sunday 3rd April, we’re offering £25 off the price of ALL our courses. So, whether you want to write poetry with your grandchildren, polish your first novel or learn a new skill such as proofreading, there’s something for everyone. Just click here to see the full list, get further details or to enrol.

So, Happy Easter to all of you!  Don’t over-indulge, but do enjoy yourselves.


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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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