A new competition for poets is being launched at a Lake District farm with a strong literary heritage.
The owners of Bank Ground Farm, on the eastern shore of Coniston, are asking poets to write about their visit – or about Swallows and Amazons, the children’s classic story which is set in the area.
The entries will be judged by American poet and author David Whyte who is visiting this summer to run a residential school. Whyte, the Anglo-Irish poet now living in the USA, is the author of eight books of poetry and four books of prose. With a degree in Marine Zoology, he has traveled widely, including living and working as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands and leading anthropological and natural history expeditions in the Andes, Amazon and Himalaya.
Swallows and Amazons, loved by generations of children – and adults – opens at a farm called Holly Howe where the children are waiting for a telegram from their father with permission to camp on an island in the lake. Bank Ground Farm was the model for Holly Howe, and was also used as a location in the 1974 film version of the story.
“We are very proud of our literary heritage, and we enjoy David coming here with his poetry school,” said Shayla Batty. Her husband Jonathon’s family have run the farm for generations. Now they offer accommodation, a tea room and evening restaurant, and a host of adventure activities including sailing and cycling, alongside the traditional sheep and cattle farming.
The poems for the competition must be about Bank Ground Farm or Swallows and Amazons, and should be typed in 16-point font on one sheet of A4 (as the top 3 winning poems will be framed and hung on the wall). The prize for the best is a mid-week break at Bank Ground. Deadline is July 1. Please email your poem to firstname.lastname@example.org