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Poets urged to enter Derbyshire libraries’ national poetry day competition

Published: 17 September 2021

Our libraries have launched a poetry competition to mark National Poetry Day on Thursday 7 October 2021.


Bottle of Laureate Sherry
The winning entry will be awarded a bottle of Laureate Sherry, kindly donated by the 21st Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage.

The theme of the competition is inspired by the theme of National Poetry Day, which is ‘choice’.

To enter the competition poets must create a poem on the theme of choice in 200 words or less. The competition is open to adults aged 18 and over.

Following the success of Derbyshire libraries’ writing competition – as part of the BBC Novels That Shaped Our World project, which saw more than 130 eligible entries being published in the first compendium eBook on the BorrowBox app – Derbyshire libraries are keen to follow this with an eBook of poetry.

Councillor Barry Lewis, Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Culture, Tourism and Climate Change, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for experienced or budding poets. Not only will the project foster local talent, but all the poets’ works will also be available to a wider audience.”

Barbara Crossley, who was one of the winning entrants to the writing competition, said:

“This experience has encouraged me – literally – it has given me fresh courage to carry on with my writing.

“It has inspired me to try different forms of poetry – I’d really like to explore more contemporary poets and poetry in performance. And I've also decided I'd really like to apply to do an MA in Creative Writing and see where that takes me.”

All entries will be published in an eBook, and the winning entry will also be awarded a bottle of Laureate Sherry, kindly donated by the 21st Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage when he visited the new Belper Library in April.

Laureate Sherry has long been a tradition, and this unique bottle has a specially designed label by Simon’s wife, Sue, and features a drawing of the Marsden Cuckoo.

The competition runs from the 7 October 2021 and closes at midnight on 7 November 2021.

Read the full details on how to enter and the terms and conditions.