Children encouraged to write inspiring poetry for display at Birmingham Cathedral

This summer, Birmingham Cathedral will be filling the churchyard with poetry written by local children, in the city’s first children’s’ Poetry festival.

Young people between 7 and 14 years old are being invited to create inspiring pieces, that will displayed in the grounds of the Cathedral as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival. A selection of poems will then be chosen by an expert judging panel to be recited at a special Poetry Festival event in the cathedral on Saturday 2 July.

Jane McArdle, Head of learning at Birmingham Cathedral, said: “Birmingham Cathedral is at the heart of the city. This summer, when the Commonwealth Games are happening in Birmingham, we aspire to fill this Churchyard with the poetry of children and young people.

“Humanity, destiny and equality are the values of the Commonwealth Games. We want children to be inspired by themes of the power of the human body, the spirit of the games, and a sporting moment, and to create poetry around these themes.”

The initiative is being supported by Birmingham Poet Laureate, Casey Bailey, who hopes to inspire children to get creative and embrace these themes.

Casey said: “I’m really excited that I’m going to be the Birmingham Cathedral poetry festival poet. This means I’m going to get to look at the poems, help in the judging and be here for the festival itself.”

Louisa Davies, Senior Producer for the Birmingham 2022 Festival said:

“As part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival, Birmingham Cathedral’s Poetry Festival is a great opportunity for young people to get creative and write their own poems drawing inspiration from this once in a generation celebration of sport taking place in the city.”

Organisers are looking for a range of different poems. It could be an acrostic poem, a limerick, a nonsense poem, a riddle, a narrative poem, a haiku or free verse. Bright and colourful drawings to accompany the poems is also encouraged – the brighter and more colourful the better!

Entries can come via schools, youth groups or by individuals, and need to be sent to the Cathedral by 30 May to be included.

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