School students competing for Wordsworth poetry prize

School students throughout Cumbria are competing for a poetry trophy offered by the descendants of William Wordsworth.

Entries have come in for the Rydal Mount Wordsworth prize for young poets, a new prize which will be awarded annually. Along with the trophy is a cash prize donated by the Wordsworth family who still own Rydal Mount, near Ambleside, the house to which the famous poet moved 200 years ago. It was there that he published the definitive version of England’s most famous poem, Daffodils, and from where his wife, Mary, published the epic The Prelude after William’s death in 1850.

The curators, Peter and Marian Elkington, who manage the house and gardens, which are open to the public, are organising the contest with the support of the Wordsworth family. More than 100 pupils from schools around the county submitted entries. An award ceremony at Rydal Mount will be held on April 10. Wordsworth’s descendants will judge the poems and present the prizes.

Along with the annually-awarded trophy there’s a £50 cash prize for the winner, and signed books for two runners -up.

A competition staged last year for pupils at Ambleside Primary and The Lakes secondary schools was a huge success and Mr Elkington said that the enthusiasm of the young poets had spurred the decision to run the event every year. “There was some really remarkable talent and the Wordsworth family were really impressed by the standard of the poems that they judged,” he said.

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