A Poem to Remember competition

Red poppy by Judy Darley

Enter a new national poetry competition to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

You’re invited to breathe in the spirit of the Great War poets, and write a poem that honours those affected by service while paying tribute to humankind’s capacity to overcome adversity. The winner will receive a £2000 cash prize. Deadline 9th April 2018. 

The competition has been launched by the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC), itself a new organisation designed to become one of the world’s best clinical rehabilitation centres for the armed forces and potentially civilians too. Inspired by the war’s famous poets, including Wilfred Owen, Muriel Stuart and Siegfried Sassoon, they’re seeking poetry “that honours those affected by service and pays tribute to humankind’s capacity commemorate the moment the guns fell silent in the First World War. It will honour the fallen and those who took part, remembering that many survivors suffered very serious injury which affected the rest of their lives.”

The best five entries will be chosen by a panel of judges, chaired by historian Dan Snow, and then go to a public vote.

The winning entry will be read out by Prince William at the opening ceremony of the new Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre near Loughborough , and will be displayed prominently in perpetuity at the Centre.

The overall winner will receive a £2,000 cash prize, with four runners-up receiving £500. Only one entry is permitted per person. Poems must be no longer than 25 lines.

Closing dates for entries is 23.59pm GMT on April 9th, 2018.
For inspiration, read more about modern day soldier poets.

Find the full competition details, rules and terms and conditions here.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at judydarley(at)iCloud(dot)com.

Andrew Motion and the poetry of war

Andrew Motion_Credit University of Leeds

Andrew Motion © University of Leeds

How can we make sense of human atrocities? Often only through art in one form or another, and even then barely at all. But at least by reconstituting through paint, clay or words, we can ensure it is considered anew.

This May, former poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion will share his specially created work, reflecting on the 1945 atomic bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Look at it this way. From the observation plane flying high
over the city with sunlight rippling along its silver belly
there is a clear view of offices and schools and factories
and wood-frame houses all with roofs of the same dark tiles
Extract from A Tile from Hiroshima by Sir Andrew Motion, 2015

The one-off, intimate performance will take place at IWM North, part of Imperial War Museums, on Thursday 14 May at 7.30pm, timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and as part of Museums at Night 2015.

The new poem, inspired by objects and stories in IWM’s collections, will form the culmination of the A Conversation with Sir Andrew Motion event, in which he’ll discuss new and past works on the subject with Dame Jennie Murray OBE, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour since 1987 and formerly BBC TV’s Newsnight.

The Museums at Night event will also include a screening of An All-Encompassing Light – winner at the IWM Short Film Festival – in which Lee Jong Keun, a long-time resident of Hiroshima, tells his story, a story he kept secret for decades, in order to remember friends and family, and to reveal the lingering effects of the bombing.

Motion’s new poem will be subsequently installed as a sound recording within IWM North’s Main Exhibition Space to mark the 70th anniversary of the bombings. It will be displayed alongside the objects that inspired the piece, including roof tiles recovered from Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the explosions.

It promises to be a thought-provoking and moving evening.  Tickets to In Conversation With Sir Andrew Motion cost £6 and are on sale from www.quaytickets.com or from the Admissions Desk at IWM North.

For further details, visit www.iwm.org.uk. You can connect with @IWMNorth on Twitter and www.facebook.com/iwm.north.