Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe National Poetry Day Competition

Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe

Organised by Worcestershire Poet Laureate, Heather Wastie

  • The 2015 LitFest National Poetry Day Competition is now open
  • Closing Date Sunday 6 September 2015
  • Free entry
  • Open to all in Worcestershire
  • For rules see below
  • Judges: Worcestershire Poet Laureate, Heather Wastie, and a LitFest committee member
  • Poets are invited to attend a free tour of the Museum of Carpet for inspiration on Saturday 15 August 2.00pm. Please report to the Museum Reception to join the tour.

Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2015 Heather Wastie Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2015 Heather Wastie

Competition Rules

  1. Entrants must be available to perform their poem(s) Thursday 8 October 2015 7.30pm at Museum of Carpet, Kidderminster.
  2. Closing date Sunday 6 September 2015.
  3. The theme is ‘Light and Shade’. All styles and genres are welcome. Poems inspired by the carpet industry will be particularly welcome.
  4. Submitted pieces must not have been published elsewhere and must be the entrant’s own original work.
  5. By entering this…

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Poem: School visit by Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education

Have you heard of the Emergency Poet? She is “the world’s first and only mobile poetic first aid service”, the brilliant idea of poet Deborah Alma. My poetry has been prescribed by her in the past. Here’s a link to her website http://emergencypoet.com/. She often puts out a call for pieces on a particular subject, and her most recent request was an unusual one …. poems for Nicky Morgan. I sent this one to her last week and she has been pestering me to blog it ever since. It was written just before the election and I performed it at a Politics-themed Mouth and Music (http://www.mouthandmusic.co.uk/) in March. So here it is!

School visit by Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education

Now listen to me children,
your future’s in our hands
and we have all the answers,
though it’s hard to understand.

So we’ve put it in a poem
and drawn some pictures too,
to help you choose your subjects
for the job that’s best for you.

We’ve put it in a poem
to have a bit of fun!
It’s not an occupation
we’d suggest to anyone!

No! Poetry’s not a proper job;
our tax data will show
that the “true worth” of a poet
is very very low.

Our figures on school leavers
will show you won’t be wealthy
if you become a poet
and that’s not very healthy.

You need to have an income,
you must put money first,
and it isn’t very clever
to play with silly verse.

Now are there any questions?
Oh come on, don’t be shy.
Has the cat got all your tongues?
You there, what’s that you say?

You think I’m talking rot
because if what I say is true
then why are you learning poems
in Key Stage 1 and 2?

And did the poets not got paid?
Did they do it for free
to help your education?
And you think a poet would be far more interesting than me?

Well done! I see you’ve learned to rhyme
and make your stanzas scan!
But there’s something wrong with your final verse.
Do fix that, if you can.

© Heather Wastie
2015 Worcestershire Poet Laureate

Carrying the evening home

This could be a poem or a song. I don’t know yet. I wrote it after going to the launch of an exhibition by Elena Thomas at ArtSpace in Birdcage Walk, Dudley, a place I used to know well. There was underwear hanging from ceilings and Elena’s songs were poignant and beautiful ….. Intrigued? Do visit her website http://www.elenathomas.co.uk/

Carrying the evening home

The boarded up
The shout out loud
The delicate stitch
The gentle crowd

The gawping dance
The gaping cry
The fear of fear
The walk on by

Carrying the evening home
Carrying the feelings home

The open door
The bleeding sound
The sensitive ear
The in-for-a-pound

The whitened wall
The underneath
The birdcage walk
The sung relief

Carrying the evening home
Carrying the feelings home

The arm in arm
The dead beat bar
The cast of one
The shop front door

The empty town
The lost bazaar
The what we had
The who we are

Carrying the evening home
Carrying the feelings home

© Heather Wastie
July 2015