Poetry Together has had another fantastic year with more than 400 schools and care homes taking part across the globe.
The Poetry Together 2022 Poetry Writing competition was a huge hit this year. This was the latest initiative from Poetry Together, the charity founded by broadcaster and poetry champion Gyles Brandreth that aims to bring the young and old together through the joy of performing poetry by heart. More than 500 school pupils and senior citizens submitted their own short poem on the theme of Laughter & Tears. Following an initial judging process, the shortlisted finalists travelled to Sancton Wood School in Cambridge for a special Finals Day where they performed their poems aloud in front of an illustrious judging panel made up of Gyles, Waterstones Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho and award-winning poet and author Lucy Cuthew.
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. Five winners were chosen on Finals Day from the three categories: Junior, Senior and Senior Citizen. It was such a tough job for the judges because all the finalists’ poems were so good.
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
Linda Woolfson, aged 80, with The Whole Family are Coming
Three of these lucky winners were then chosen to perform their poems on live TV on Remembrance Day 11 November, on ITV’s This Morning alongside Gyles Brandreth.
Benjamin Andrews, Georgina Wall and Linda Woolfson joined Gyles on the This Morning sofa and performed their poems with great aplomb. Well done to everyone who took part in Poetry Together 2022!
“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.”
“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.”
“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!”