Ipswich County Library is hosting the county final of the National Poetry by Heart poetry reading competition this week.

Talented students from across the region have been entering Poetry by Heart which is a pioneering national competition designed to encourage pupils at school and college inEngland to learn and to recite poems by heart.

After a round of school and college competitions winners have progressed to the county finals and the Suffolk event is being hosted by Ipswich Library this Thursday (28 March 2013) at 7pm.

The event will involve five pupils from Bungay High School, Ormiston Sudbury Academy, Stour Valley Community School in Clare, County Upper School Academy in Bury St Edmunds and Framlingham College.

The pupils will be reciting two poems from the 130 available in the online anthology which supports the competition and can be found at www.poetrybyheart.org.uk

Julie Blake, Education Director of the Poetry Archive, explains the thinking behind the competition: “Competitors need to choose one poem from before 1914 and one poem from after 1914. We hope that in reading, preparing and reciting, young people will gain much enjoyment and confidence. School competitions have led to county finals and then a grand final will take place over two days in London on April 19th and 20th. The spirit of the competition is that we want students to take poems to heart not simply learn them by rote and we have been thrilled by the response to the initiative.”

The former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion who set up the Poetry Archive is the driving force behind the idea. He has commented, “…we want it to be fun, as it encourages pupils to discover new pleasures and fulfilments, but we want it to be serious as well: an excitement and a dare. To demonstrate, in fact, the marvellous form of two-way travelling that poetry allows us: into ourselves, and out into the world, at one and the same time.”

To find out more about Lowestoft College ring 0800 854695