Poetry by Heart 2021

Joining The National Competition

Outline of the three types of national entry in 2021

There are three main types of national entry available this year, all possible by video performances made by young people at home.

The Classic Competition in which an individual recites two poems which have been chosen from the Poetry By Heart website, one poem published before 1914 and one published in or after 1914.

The Celebration Competition in which an individual, a small group (2-5 young people) or a large group (6+ young people) perform any one poem chosen from the website. There is an additional option for school staff and PGCE students to enter.

The new Freestyle Showcase option in which an individual, a small group or a large group perform any poem at all, including those written by the contestant/s.

Click on the links to see the rules for each type of entry.


How Poetry By Heart will judge and respond to your entries

The Poetry By Heart team will watch and respond to all entries received by 31st March 2021. We will send personalised feedback and certificates to the teachers of every young person who is entered.

Our expert panel of poet judges and educators will then judge the best performances in the Classic and Celebration Competition categories. We’ll invite those competitors and their chaperones to attend the national event at Shakespeare’s Globe on the SouthBank in London (date tbc), at which the national winners will be announced. We will also invite some of the very best Freestyle Showcase performers. It’s all free to invited participants, including travel costs.

With appropriate parental permissions in place, we will also add a selection of video performances to Poetry By Heart’s website.