Peterborians show pride for their city in ‘Love Peterborough’ poetry competition

20 May 2015

The winners of a poetry competition who penned verse about life in Peterborough have seen their poems published on posters in buses.

Literacy campaignThe Peterborough Literacy Campaign, a National Literacy Trust initiative to boost literacy levels in the area has announced the winners of their Love Peterborough poetry competition whose poems have now been published in selected Stagecoach buses. Judged by star of the Harry Potter films, Warwick Davis, the competition’s aim is to inspire a love of writing in the area.

Adults and children, aged eight and over from across Peterborough got scribbling about their pride for their home city and its many sights, sounds, smells and tastes. Warwick Davis was joined on the judging panel by local poet, Mark Grist and the Chief Executive of Vivacity, Kevin Tighe, who all enjoyed reading about the writers’ enthusiasm for Peterborough’s many gems including its stunning cathedral, fascinating heritage and the serene Cambridgeshire landscape. Entries were commended for their passion and original imagery, as well as their rhythm and humour.

To encourage people to enter the competition, the National Literacy Trust Hub Bradford’s Manager, Imran Hafeez visited schools in Peterborough to captivate budding wordsmiths through rap and lyrical performances. Teacher Chris Wells from Gladstone Primary School said children were “totally entranced” by the advice Imran offered and that workshops gave the children much more confidence in writing ideas for poetry of their own.

The winners are:
Children’s category
Winner: Melody The Bill, aged 10 at Longthorpe Primary School. Read it here.
Runner up: Mohammed Subhan, aged 11 at Gladstone Primary School. Read it here.
Commended: Lawrence Gould, aged 10 at Longthorpe Primary School. Read it here.

Adult’s category
Winner: Vivien Foster. Read it here.
Runner up: Sophie Hood. Read it here.

The winner of the children’s category for the competition, Melody The Bill said:
“I really enjoyed the poetry workshops. My favourite bit was when Imran read out his own poems which were really entertaining. With every word I wrote I remembered all the cool things we have in Peterborough and as I was writing I was doing research and found out a lot about where I live. I was delighted when I found out I had won out of all the people that entered and grateful that they were putting my poem on the bus.”

Local poet, Mark Grist said:
“The pieces were all so evocative of Peterborough and taking part in judging has been a lot of fun. Melody’s poem was sharp, playful and packed full of charm. I wish I'd written it! Congratulations to the winners and I urge all Peterborians to give creative writing a go – it’s a great way to get heard!”

Sally Atkinson, the National Literacy Trust Hub  Peterborough’s Manager said:
“Poetry is a fantastic way for people to express themselves and look at their surroundings in a new light. The Peterborough Literacy Campaign is all about providing fun ways to improve literacy skills in the area and the passion in these entries shows how empowering writing can be.”

Stagecoach will be continuing to support the Peterborough Literacy Campaign by displaying its posters which encourage families to read and share stories with their children from birth.

Zoe Paget, Operations Director, Stagecoach East said:
“At Stagecoach we strive to be active members of our local communities, so partnering with the Peterborough Literacy Campaign to inspire a love of writing in the area and celebrate all that this city has to offer has been a great opportunity. We hope that the winning poems make our customers smile and we’re looking forward to further supporting this important initiative.”