Budding poets recognised in council competition

The winners of Malvern Hills District Council's first ever poetry competition have been announced.

Nearly 70 people sent in their poems based on the theme 'The Year 2020', with entrants ranging from five to 88-years-old.

The judges included Cllr Sarah Rouse, Leader of the Council, Ellie Dart, Worcestershire's Young Poet Laureate, and Tracy Kelly-Freer, from Malvern Book Co-Operative.

The winners were:

Under 11s- The Real Rainbow by Eleanor.

Runner up- 2020 Environment by Sarah.

Age 12 to 17- 2020: The Calendar of Chaos by April-Louise.

Runner up- Untitled by Alex.

Over 18s- A Tale of Two Epochs by Florence Hayles.

Runner up- An Ode to 2020 by Helen Dalgleish.

All finalists received a certificate and the winners received vouchers to use at the Malvern Book Co-Operative.

The Malvern Hills District is known for its literary connections and has provided inspiration for such greats as C.S Lewis, JRR Tolkien, as well as medieval English poet William Langland, who wrote 'The Visions of Piers Ploughman' which is set on The Malverns.

There is a variety of book shops to choose from, including Malvern Book Co-Operative, The Malvern Bookshop, Books for Amnesty and more.

Cllr Sarah Rouse, Leader of Malvern Hills District Council, said: "We had a great response from budding poets of all ages across the Malvern Hills District who interpreted the theme in creative ways. Competitions like this are a great way to encourage people to get creative and to also raise awareness of the many wonderful local book shops we have on offer. It was a very difficult decision to choose only three winners, a big congratulations to the finalists and thank you to everyone who took part".

Malvern Book Co-operative set up The Outreach Project in 2019 to promote and support reading and literacy for people across the generations in and around Malvern. They work with young people and families via The Cube in Malvern and Riverboats Children's Centre in Upton-upon-Severn to share the joy of reading and the power of literature.

Tracy Kelly-Freer, from Malvern Book Co-operative, said: "We were really delighted to be invited to join the judging panel for the MHDC poetry competition. As your independent, local, community owned book shop, we are proud to be wholly owned and managed by our fantastic members. MHDC have generously provided book tokens as prizes, these can be used at the Malvern Book Cooperative at any time. We have a wide range of new books from bestsellers to the niche and eclectic and we offer an efficient book ordering service by phone or email, most titles will arrive in 24 hours".

The winning poems are now available to view online here- www.malvernhills.gov.uk/poetry-winners

L-R Age 12-18 winner, April-Louise, Malvern St James Headmistress, Mrs Raraty, and Under 11s winner, Eleanor, with their certificates.
Over 18s winner, Florence Hayles, with her certificate.
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