Announcing the launch of the National Memory Day Poetry Competition 2018 on 27th June 2018: National Writing Day.
It’s National Writing Day and what better way to celebrate than by entering our poetry competition in support of people living with memory loss and their loved ones?
The National Memory Day project is a partnership between Literature Works and the Poetry Archive, supported by the Alzheimer’s Society. It is concerned with the creative power of poetry to enhance the lives of people living with memory loss and their loved ones or carers. Monies raised by the competition are invested directly into funding creative, interactive sessions led by practicing poets in Memory Cafés around the South West.
We are delighted to announce noted poet and nature writer, Miriam Darlington as the judge of this year’s National Memory Day Poetry Prize.
In its first successful year the competition received over 1,300 international entries. This year, we are accepting submissions to two prize categories:
The National Memory Day Poetry Prize, sponsored by Literature Works, and the Primary Carer Voice Prize, sponsored by The Alzheimer’s Society. The latter category is open to those who have direct experience of caring for someone with memory loss. In each category there will be three prizes:
1st prize of £700
2nd prize of £200
3rd prize of £100
This year, we are seeking poems on the subject of ‘memory’. Compositions could be influenced by the experience of living with memory loss, or the theme lends itself to a broader interpretation. Poems should be no longer than one sheet of A4 and can be submitted either by post or online. All submission guidelines are available here.
Submissions are charged at £3 for a single poem and £2 for each additional poem.
The competition closes at 5 pm on Friday 5th October.
Heather Norman-Soderlind, Chair of Literature Works said today, “Sharing poetry as a group and with loved ones can have the most moving effect. Many of the 800,000-plus people living with memory loss in the UK today are of an older generation that learned poetry by heart at school. We are finding in our National Memory Day sessions at Memory Cafés that those poems often come flooding back in the most uplifting ways.”
About our judge Miriam Darlington
Miriam Darlington was born in Lewes, Sussex. She gained her first degree from the University of Sussex, and taught French and English for twelve years, before becoming a full-time writer in 2007. A prize- winning poet, her poetry collection Windfall was published in 2008 by Oversteps Books. Her PhD focusses on British and American Nature Writing, and her nature and travel memoir Otter Country was published by Grants in 2012. Her most recent book, Owl Sense, is published by Guardian Faber, and she contributes to many newspapers and magazines, as well as being a regular columnist at The Times with her ‘Nature Notebook’. She lives in Devon with two children, one dog, one cat and one husband.
Here’s what Miriam is looking for in a poem: ‘The best poems are linguistically lithe: they are fresh, striking and original. They are ‘the best words in the best order’ and leave a lasting effect on the reader. For this particular competition for National Memory Day, I will be looking for something I haven’t seen before: something that works on the imagination, the heart and the senses; lines that take the reader by the hand into the feel of an experience, leaving us subtly changed.’