Competition gives young poets the chance to express their climate concerns

man sat by tree writing in forest

Posted on: 30 September 2019

Young people across Devon are being encouraged to express their climate concerns through poetry to help spread awareness of the importance that reducing, reusing and recycling waste plays in saving the planet.

Recycle Devon’s Waste Poetry Competition is open to Devon residents aged from five to 18 and coincides with National Poetry Day on Thursday 3 October 2019.

Entrants are asked to pen a poem of up to 500 words (20 lines) about waste – this could include recycling, reusing, plastic pollution, composting or even bin collections.

The competition is divided into four categories, depending on the age of the entrant, KS1 (age five to seven), KS2 (age eight to 10), KS3/4 (age 11 to 15 ) and age 16 to 18.

Entries must be submitted before 30 November for entrants to be in with the chance to read their poem out loud on Recycle Devon social media and, thanks to support by Suez, win a top prize of £50 in book vouchers.

Runners-up prizes include a £25 book token and goody bags of Recycle Devon merchandise. All winners and runners up will be invited to the Recycle Devon Thank You Awards in March 2020 where the overall winner of each category will be announced.

Judges include Alex Kittow, Head of Devon Libraries Unlimited, and two poets, Anthony Wilson, author of Making Poetry Happen and Love for Now and John Clarke, author of Landfill. Both are lecturers in English at Exeter University and judging will take place in the New Year.

Alex Kittow said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for budding young poets and writers to use their creativity for good in the movement to raise awareness of the impact of waste and pollution, and to encourage people to reduce their impact on the environment.
“We know that there are thousands of talented young people who use our libraries that would be able to make a great contribution to this competition and we encourage them all to take part, to share their talents and encourage people to do their bit to protect our beautiful county.”

John Clarke said: “Rubbish is both an environmentally essential topic to be writing about, and a wonderful opportunity for the writer to take poetry in places it usually doesn’t go, and to fill poems with the appalling and moving strangeness of all we throw away.”

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for

Councillor Andrea Davis

Councillor Andrea Davis

Infrastructure Development and Waste said: “Climate change affects all of us and part of the challenge is convincing people to change their habits and to reduce, re-use and recycle more the waste we produce. We have seen recently how strongly young people care about the environment, while poetry has the ability to convince, inspire and be thought provoking.
“By asking young people to express their concerns through poetry I hope it will raise awareness and help encourage people to change their recycling habits.”

Poems can be submitted by post to Lucy Mottram, Waste Education Officer, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, Devon, EX2 4QD. They should be typed in a normal font (Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri) and include name, address, phone number, email and age or year group of poet.

You can email your entry to recycle@devon.gov.uk or put them into the collection bins at one of the 50 participating Devon libraries.

Please read all Terms and Conditions before submitting an entry. These are displayed in libraries and available at Recycle Devon’s website here.

Posted in: Community | Environment