Special Contest for 2018 Cheltenham Poetry Festival

questionsWould you like to share the poem and its impact — and possibly include your poetic response to it? 

In next year’s Cheltenham Poetry Festival, I will introduce poets and enthusiasts, who will share, in four minutes each, their favourite poem and the power it had to change their life. Some may have penned a poem in response to their favourite poem.

Competition entries are free of charge, starting with a brief overview of your chosen poem. This should include the title and author’s name, plus a sentence or two about the impact it had on your life. Entry is free. Judging will be by festival executive director Anna Saunders and myself. Contest rules and entry form.

The contest is for a piece of prose or poetry of a maximum of 600 words that can be read in four minutes in the event on 21 April 2018. Successful entrants will be given free admission to read and narrate at the event.  The top three entrants by audience acclaim will also be given two free tickets to another 2018 festival event of their choice (subject to availability.) Contest rules and entry form.

How a poem changed my life

I first saw ‘Desiderata’, the poem that redirected my life, in a noisy party at a friend’s house in the Swinging Sixties. It was on a placard fixed to the wall of his toilet. Its first line:  ‘Go placidly among the noise and haste. . . ’ made me laugh for the first time after months of coping with acute depression. read more

Howard Timms   January 2018