Young poets mind the gap in Wordsworth-inspired verse

School pupils across Cumbria are proving that they have inherited the poetry tradition from William Wordsworth.

More than 100 young poets from all over the county have submitted entries for the annual Rydal Mount Wordsworth prize, organised by the descendants of Wordsworth who are now judging their work.

Members of the Wordsworth family will attend the award ceremony and prizegiving to be held at the poet’s home near Ambleside, Rydal Mount, on Thursday April 14.

The poems this year are on the theme: Mind the Gap. Peter Elkington, the curator of Rydal Mount, who is organising the contest on behalf of the Wordsworth family, said: “The writers could interpret the theme in any way they wish, but we thought that it would be an opportunity for some of them to consider how the winter storms and the Gap on the A591 have affected their lives and their family lives.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the response and with the standard of writing.”

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 Wordsworth’s former home at Rydal Mount near Ambleside. 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 descendants of William Wordsworth.

Last year’s winner was 13 year old Jessica Dickinson, a pupil at Keswick School, with “I wandered into my childhood”, a tribute to William Wordsworth’s Daffodils. Her poem was deemed to be the best from more than 150 entries from school pupils across Cumbria by members of the Wordsworth family, who will judge the entries again this year. Her poem has been framed and displayed at Rydal Mount for visitors to read.

Jessica and Chris close up 1

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