Denton poet inspires youngsters to pick up the pen

HUNDREDS of budding poets from across the borough wowed judges in the first ever Tameside Loves Reading poetry competition.

They penned creative efforts on subjects ranging from football to forests and schools to enchanted places.

Many entries were also inspired by Denton poet Tony Walsh’s celebrated “This is the Place”, which he performed to remember the Manchester Arena attack victims.

The contest received more than 300 poems from 26 schools across Tameside. It aimed to foster enjoyment of reading, writing and performing poetry in children and develop their performance skills, while promoting the social aspects and engaging parents.

Led by Tameside Council’s children’s services for schools, Tameside Loves Reading is a three year programme of projects and activities in schools, libraries and the community to help improve reading and literacy skills in children and young people, helping them to be successful in their learning and in life.

The judges – Tameside Council Chief Executive Steven Pleasant MBE and creative writer, storyteller and poet Conrad Burdekin – had a difficult time in choosing the winners from the high standard of entries.

Councillor Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council’s executive member for culture, said: “I’m delighted with the wonderful response we’ve had to this competition, which shows the talent and interest in poetry in our schools across Tameside.

“Tameside Loves Reading is all about inspiring an enjoyment of reading to improve literacy skills and boost development and academic achievements, and this competition has certainly sparked children’s imagination and enthusiasm in poetry.

“Well done to every budding young poet who took part and congratulations to the deserving winners. And a huge thank-you to the organisers and judges for taking time out of their busy schedules to get involved.”
All the winning schools will receive a half-day poetry workshop with Conrad Burdekin, and entries will be displayed in the autumn.

Results from the competition:

Primary – Group Poem:
Winner – This is the Place by Class 3MM, Canon Burrows CE Primary
Runner up – This is the Place by Wild Bank Primary School

Primary – Individual Poem:
Winner – Space of Sadness by three members of Y5, Hollingworth Primary
Runners up: In the Forest by Cerys, Aldwyn Primary; and The Place of Dreams by Finlay, St Christopher’s RC Primary

Primary – Young Poet Award:
Winner – Arran, Mottram CE Primary (Blue Class)

Secondary Poetry Competition  
Winner – Tameside is the place to be by Joe Unwin and Zac Millwood, West Hill School.
Runners up: Place Manchester by Nathaniel Mountain, Audenshaw School; and My Place by Ben Greatwich, Audenshaw School

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