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Wordsworth family invite young poets to challenge for prize

Christopher with last year’s prize winners

Young poets throughout Cumbria are being invited to show their talents in a very special version of an annual competition.

The Rydal Mount prize for young poets, now in its eighth year, is marking the 250th anniversary of Britain’s best loved poet, William Wordsworth. The theme will be “Milestones” to mark both this special birthday, along with 50 years since Rydal Mount was first opened to the public.

The competition is organised each year at Rydal Mount near Ambleside where Wordsworth lived for most of his life. It is open to all young people of school age in the county, and the poems will be judged by Wordsworth’s descendants.

Christopher Wordsworth Andrew, the great great great great grandson of the poet, has launched this year’s competition as the family prepares for a whole year of celebrations. These include a ceremony next month at Westminster Abbey, and a series of special occasions around the time of William Wordsworth’s actual birthday, April 7.

Christopher and other members of the family will be at Rydal Mount for the poetry competition awards presentation on Friday May 15.

He said: “We thought that Milestones was most appropriate theme this time, and it gives our young poets a very wide range of interpretations. The poets can choose any subject they wish that fits with the theme.”

The winning poem will be framed and displayed prominently in the drawing room at the popular tourist attraction. The winner will receive a £50 cash prize, a personal trophy, and his or her name will be added to the roll of honour on the plaque at Rydal Mount. There are book prizes for the poets judged as highly commended in the primary and secondary school categories.

Each entrant also receives a certificate signed by the family of William Wordsworth.

The closing date for entries is Friday March 27, and the award ceremony will be held at Rydal Mount on Friday May 15 when the winner will be announced.

Last year’s winner was 11 year old Noa Calman from Grasmere primary school.

Entry forms can be found at https://rydalmount.wordpress.com/2020/02/10/entry-form-for-wordsworth-young-poet-prize/

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