The John Betjeman poetry competition
This term, why not have a go at winning £500 for yourself and £500 for the school by entering The John Betjeman Poetry Competition? The theme of your poem should be 'Place'.
- Try to think about places that you know well and tap into the memories that they evoke. Lots of planning with Mindmaps and finding pictures of the places that you remember the best would be a good way of getting the creative juices flowing...
- Visit Poetry Atlas, where you can search a map of the world and see which places already have poems written about them.
- Try writing a dialogue poem with multiple responses to the question 'Where do you come from?' Try to make your answers as figurative as possible, drawing from your memories of places and the senses that they evoke.
- Use synaesthesia to create striking sensual images. Drafting the poem in the colours that you can see in your mind's eye might help you to blend your senses in interesting ways, e.g. "I come from the lemon tang of the sudden sunlight"
- Most importantly, make sure that, however wacky your images may seem, as long as they can help the reader to imagine the place that you are describing, they should be effective. Don't be so abstract that your image cannot be visualised/imagined. A few specific details which would help your reader to 'place' your poem would be good. (Your title could contain the place name if you don't want to use it in the poem itself.)