University Poetry Challenge

I couldn’t resist using this title, but what we had the evening of February 4 was not a competition between the University of Greenwich and Goldsmiths. It was an opportunity for us to appreciate the students’ skills with words and for the students to read in front of an audience – something which some had not experienced before. All showed great courage, writing confidence (and many were confident readers, too), a touching solidarity with each other and a wide range of interests and focus, from the very intimate and personal to the fate of whales (which felt equally intimate and personal…). The students had been asked by Cherry Smyth and Blake Morrison to submit a few short poems each, and poet extraordinaire Sascha Akhtar had kindly agreed to select three winner for each university. And to perform some of her poetry at the beginning, while Cherry and Blake did so at the end, after a lively students’ open mic session.

The prizes (book tokens) were presented by Sascha, who commented on the chosen poems. With infinite thanks to PnSEL (Poetry network South East London), who channelled a donation from an anonymous donor to in-words to make it all possible. A memorable evening with a large and very appreciative audience.

Some (rather poor) images of Sascha and some of the winners below. More to follow.

Events

NIGHT WATCHED – Tuesday 19 January 2021 at 7.30 on Zoom

While still hoping to restart live (properly live) readings in the not so distant future, we still cannot plan for them, too many unknowns…

In the meantime, Night Watched will take place on January 19 on Zoom, with Graham High‘s poetic look at the Astronomers Royal and at what it’s like to migrate through space, the inimitable voice of poet NJ Hynes and award-winning author and journalist Oliver Morton reading from his book The Moon: A History for the Future (Economist Books 2019).

Free by invitation. Email irena@in-words.co.uk to be sent a zoom link nearer the time

With thanks to Paul Kley for this fun picture (and for the poetically licensed image of West Greenwich Library’s dome with kite!)