Young poets offered a chance to be read alongside Wordsworth

A walk on the wild side: that’s the theme for this year’s major poetry award for young people in Cumbria. And the winning poem will be immortalised alongside the work of William Wordsworth in his former home, to be read by thousands of visitors.

The annual Rydal Mount Wordsworth prize for young poets is organised by the descendants of William Wordsworth, and is open to students at all schools in the county.

Poems and judged by members of the Wordsworth family, who will attend the fifth annual award ceremony later this spring. The winning poem will be framed and displayed prominently in the drawing room at the popular tourist attraction.

Peter Elkington, the curator of Rydal Mount, who is organising the contest on behalf of the Wordsworth family, said: “The writers can interpret the theme in any way they wish. A walk on the wild side was the choice of Susan, the great great great grand-daughter of the poet. William Wordsworth was a great walker, of course, and so much of his poetry was inspired by what he saw when walking in the Lakes.”

The winner will receive a £100 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 a 14 year old Jacob Currie, a pupil at Furness Academy, who took the title with his poem The Gap in Life after members of the Wordsworth family judged more than 150 entries from Cumbrian schools. His poem has been framed and is displayed at Rydal Mount for visitors to read.

The closing date for entries is Monday March 20, and an award ceremony will be held at Rydal Mount on Thursday April 27 when the winner will be announced.

Entry forms can be found at

or via the Cumbria education department schools’ information portal.

See last year’s winner Jacob reading his poem here, watched by Christopher, the great great great great grandson of William Wordsworth



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