Blogger: Matt Howard, Community Collections Scheme Officer

You may remember hearing about our very exciting poetry competition that we are running in partnership with leading independent UK poetry magazine, The Rialto.

We really have been moved and delighted by the entries received so far, but why not have a go yourself?  As well as offering poets the chance to win considerable cash prizes and publication of their poems in The Rialto, the competition will raise money for conservation – a triple whammy!

The closing date is 30th April 2012, so there is still over 3 months to get your entry in.

We have given the competition a ‘Nature’ theme, though this really will be given a wide interpretation by the judges. To help expand on this, I thought it would be useful to share Michael Mackmin’s mention of the competition in is his most recent editorial for The Rialto:

So what is Nature Poetry? As the flier says, the judges will give this a wide interpretation. That’s up to them, but I’d imagine it won’t have to be just poems about creatures and beings that share the planet, or about ‘environmental concerns’. We are all air and water, everything we eat comes from the earth or the sea, most people know the roughness of a leaf or the heft of a stone can change a mood or express a feeling. I asked a 16 year old, What is nature? and she said, insects and grass: I asked a 32 year old the same question and she said, the sun and the moon and the stars and flowers and fruit and babies. You might just have to write your poems and take a risk.

 Does this sound up your street, want to have a go? How about these prizes to tickle your taste buds

1st prize is £1000

2nd Prize is £400

3rd Prize is £300

Additional Prize is a personal tour with Mark Cocker of his most cherished wildlife places in East Anglia.

Our two judges are former Poet Laureate, Sir Andrew Motion and the leading Nature Writer, Mark Cocker

The entry fee is £6 for the first poem and £3 for each subsequent entry.

Full details and the facility to enter online can be found The Rialto website here:

If you would prefer to enter by post, you can download an entry form from the website or conversely, do get in touch and I can send you one.

Matt Howard Tel: 01603 697515