War poetry competition encourages young writers

Kirkgate Shopping’s Young War Poet competition is back for its second year

Kirkgate Shopping has partnered with literacy charity Reading Matters to launch its annual ‘Bradford’s Young War Poet’ competition on National Literacy Day, Friday 8 September.

The competition will be judged by well-known spoken word artist, writer and author Anthony Anaxagorou who performed at this year’s Bradford Literature Festival. The London-based artist has toured the country with hip hop artist Akala and is heavily involved in helping children with their literacy education.

Anthony Anaxagorou will perform an exclusive spoken word piece at the competition final and present the winners with their prizes.

Anthony said: “During my Bradford Literature Festival workshops I met some really talented aspiring writings from the region and I’m looking forward to meeting many more while supporting Kirkgate Shopping’s Remembrance Day campaign. It’s important to remind children about their history while giving them an outlet to discuss current world events. I hope this competition will inspire children to express themselves through poetry and the spoken word.”

Centre manager at Kirkgate Shopping, Catherine Riley, said: “We’re proud to once again launch Bradford’s Young War Poet competition. An initiative which gives our district’s young people the opportunity to immerse themselves in our country’s war history and use their creativity, reading and writing skills to produce a unique and powerful piece of poetry.

“Last year saw some outstanding entries and our winner James Morgan focussed his emotional poem on his great-grandfather’s role in the First World War which was incredibly poignant. We encourage all entrants to look at the wide-reaching implications of war and the effect it can have on families and relationships.”

Rachel Kelly, chief executive at Reading Matters added: “We’re excited to be working with Kirkgate Shopping on this brilliant campaign which encourages children to read and write. Last year in England over 63,000 children left primary school unable to read to the expected level so we really appreciate Kirkgate Shopping’s commitment to recognising the importance of literacy. It’s a great competition for Bradford’s youngsters and we look forward to finding the next young war poet!”

Local schools, young writers and students of drama, speech and writing groups across the district are encouraged to write a poem on the topic of war. The competition closes on 1 November 2017 with all entries sent to press@kirkgateshopping.co.uk. Judging will take place on 3 November 2017.

The top three entrants will perform their poem live at the competition final on Armistice Day, Saturday 11 November, with The Royal British Legion in the centre. Top prizes include an iPad, tickets to see the War Horse at the Alhambra Theatre and Kirkgate Shopping vouchers.