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Poetry By Heart

 41 county competition winners and their teachers gathered at Homerton College on Thursday 17th -19th March for the Poetry by Heart National Finals.  

Our student, Maya Engledow, represented Norfolk in this event.

On 17-19 March our student, Maya Engledow, represented Norfolk in the Poetry By Heart national finals.


41 county competition winners and their teachers gathered at Homerton College on Thursday 17th for  a dinner and formal welcome to the college from Geoff Ward, the Principal of Homerton and the poet Jean Sprackland. The semi-final stage of the competition began on Friday 18th.

 In addition to watching fellow competitors recite, students enjoyed a range of activities including tours of Cambridge, creative writing workshops, poetry reading and book signing by the judging panel and talks on applying to University.

Jessica Mason, from St John Rigby Sixth Form College, became the new Poetry By Heart Champion for 2016. Reciting three poems in front of a highly appreciative audience at Homerton College, Cambridge University, Jessica triumphed at the end of a search for a champion that began six months ago with thousands of students taking part in school competitions up and down the country.

Though our student , Maya ,didn’t win in the National Final, nevertheless, even participating in the competition of such a calibre is a victory; carrying the joy of the spoken word, Maya was absolutely fabulous in matching her interpretation of the poems very closely to the poet’s intension.


In her concluding remarks at the end of a highly successful event Co-founder and Co-director of Poetry By Heart, Julie Blake said: “Every year we are blown away by the remarkable recitations of so many different poems. These young people have so many different stories about why they chose what they did, how they learned them and why they matter. That they choose to share them with us in the spotlight of competition is moving beyond words. The very best are literally breath-taking.”


BBC Radio 4's Poetry Please recorded students for a special episode to be broadcast on 17th April and Cambridge TV also made a short film of the event.