Young poets will get their reward

Young poets whose competition was halted by lockdown will be rewarded at last later this year.

The youngsters who entered the eighth annual Rydal Mount prize for young poets will be invited to an award ceremony at the house in the autumn term.

The poets from schools throughout Cumbria were invited to show their talents in a special version of the contest to mark the 250th anniversary of Britain’s best-loved poet, William Wordsworth. The theme was Milestones to mark both the special birthday, along with 50 years since Rydal Mount was first opened to the public.

The poetry competition along with many other events planned to mark the occasion had to be abandoned after the young writers had submitted their work. But Christopher Wordsworth Andrew, the great great great great grandson of the poet, and his mother Susan, have been reading through the poems and making their decisions.

“We will wait until after the summer holidays and then have a ceremony here where we can, at last, recognise the fantastic efforts that these youngsters have made,” he said.

Christopher with winners from the last competition

The competition is organised each year at Rydal Mount near Ambleside where Wordsworth lived for the second half of his life. Said Christopher:  “We thought that Milestones was a most appropriate theme and gave our young poets a very wide range of interpretations. It’s still valid as this year is the 250th anniversary of Dorothy Wordsworth’s birth.”

The winning poem will be framed and displayed prominently in the drawing room at the popular tourist attraction. 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 Rydal Mount. 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 family of William Wordsworth.

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