Why have a competition anthology?
Poetry By Heart is the newest addition to a global family of national poetry recitation competitions, including Poetry Out Loud in the United States, the bilingual Poetry In Voice in Canada, and Poetry Aloud in Ireland. All of these competitions require students to select poems for performance from a specially chosen collection. Why?
- It makes the competition fairer: you don’t need to know any poems and poets already.
- It provides a challenge beyond poems set for your exams and already memorised lyrics.
- You can explore and find poems you enjoy, knowing they will count in the competition.
Who chose it and how?
To launch this first year of the competition, poets Andrew Motion and Jean Sprackland selected 130–odd poems; the shortest are sonnets, the longest about a page and a half. They chose poems to make the anthology serious and playful, accessible and ambitious, ‘classic’ and contemporary, and balanced between pre-1914 and post-1914 poems. The poems are as diverse in language, style and form as the poets that wrote them, and the anthology offers a coherent range of poems from different historical periods.
Want to argue with it?
The valuing inherent in making any selection of poems will – and should always be – open to questioning, discussion and debate. We want the Poetry By Heart anthology to be tested and contested by everyone who explores it. To have such lively debate about poets and poems, about our living literature and our cultural legacy, is as much a part of this project as the individual performances. Indeed, the anthology is designed to be a living and evolving collection, and we plan to expand it to 200 poems in 2014. Please help us to do that by joining the discussion throughout the competition that will shape next year’s competition anthology.
Which poems and poets would you add?
Which would you replace?
How else would you change it?
Talk to us:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/poetrybyheart2013
- Twitter: @poetrybyheart