On Friday night, I had the pleasure of being involved in the Cambridgeshire regional Poetry by Heart competition.
The event itself was organised by Richard Young and members of the Cambridgeshire Library services, and they did a fantastic job!
It was a great night, and it was really wonderful to see young people engaging with poetry!
In the end, I wasn't called on to act as a judge, and I'm secretly a little relieved as the standard of performance was so high! I don't think I could have picked a winner!
It was a close run contest, but Peter Bayes from Kimbolton won the prize, with James Ashton from Comberton Village College as runner-up. Both gave wonderful recitations of their chosen poems, and judges Michael Williamson, Chris Morgan and Victor & Judy Watson were left with a very tough decision indeed.
I performed a few of my own poems while the judges were counting up the scores, and I got a good reception from the crowd. I hope I broke the tension a little bit, ahead of the announcement of the final scores!
Now we just need to wish Peter the best of luck for the finals; fingers crossed for a win for Cambridgeshire!
This week, the 28 Sonnets Later project is in full swing!
The aim of the project is to write twenty-eight sonnets over the course of February 2014. We'll be publishing a sonnet a day, plus two Franken-sonnnets, made up on the first lines of the previous fourteen poems. If you're confused, you can read a more detailed explanation here.
Though I must warn you, you're liable to be even more confused after reading it!
So far I have contributed two sonnets to this year's collection, Jekyll/Hyde and Winter in Sochi, with five more left to write in the coming weeks. It's so much fun writing to a time limit and really challenging yourself! It's also pretty nerve-racking too! I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished collection!
Here are the links to the first nine sonnets - why not have a cheeky peek?
#1 - Apotheosis by Andy Bennett
#2 - Thesis Antithesis Synthesis by Russell J Turner
#3 - it's no good being candid by Adam Warne
#4 - Jekyll/Hyde by Leanne Moden
#5 - 'By God, Sir! I've lost my leg!' by Andy Bennett
#6 - On yer bike by Russell J Turner
#7 - One Sugar If You Please by Adam Warne
#8 - Winter in Sochi by Leanne Moden
#9 - Like Herod: my desk is vibrating by Andy Bennett
If you want to keep up to date with the progress of the project, check out the website, or follow @28SonnetsLater on twitter.