Friday, December 16, 2005

The Times Winter Festival Poetry Competition

Do you know a young poet? Challenge them to enter the Times Winter Festival Poetry Competition. Or, at least, challenge them to write a poem.

Carol Ann Duffy, writing for the Times, tells children, "It’s important, particularly for a very young poet, to read poetry if you want to write it. Read it aloud in class. Read it to friends. Have it read to you at home. In this way, the music of poetry is absorbed at DNA level." What great advice, especially for those of us on this side of the Atlantic.

Duffy continues with a specific recommendation: "We learn to write poetry by imitation. The best book of poetry for children, just published, is Ted Hughes’s Collected Poems for Children, beautifully illustrated by Raymond Briggs, which is full of gorgeous poetic treasures, including a rich sequence of winter poems."

This edition is not available in the States. Yet. I hope it is available soon, though, as all other collections of Hughes' poetry for children are out-of-print.