Find the words – for a chance to win a staycation

The Guernsey Press is teaming up with the Heritage Festival to launch a GuernseyTogether poetry competition...

THOUGHT-PROVOKING poetry, delivered well, can transcend all divides.

When acclaimed contemporary poet Tony Walsh recited his poem This Is The Place in Albert Square following the Manchester Arena terror attack in May 2017, he showed how powerful poetry can be.

His performance was described as ‘the perfect symbol of the pride, passion and defiance of Manchester’s people’.

It was a moment that the people of that city, and those beyond, remembered because it captured the mood of a city that was down, but definitely not out.

If you think that poetry is for snobs, that it’s boring and pretentious, then it might be time to think again.

Modern poetry isn’t consigned to dusty books, it’s a living art. It’s not just being taught in schools, it’s being rapped and referenced in graffiti, seen on mainstream advertising and in the music that makes up the soundtrack to our lives.

We are looking for budding poets to help us sum up a year that many of us will never forget.

As we embark on our annual Heritage Festival, we are reflecting on a year of highs and lows. Of incredible community spirit that saw us overcome adversity in many ways.

We want to know what GuernseyTogether means to you.

You don’t have to be a Wordsworth or Keats, you don’t have to be published or your words well known. You just need to be passionate about our island and its incredible collective strength and able to commit that to a poem.

This year’s Heritage Festival will take place from Saturday 1 May to Sunday 16 May and focuses on our amazing GuernseyTogether spirit.

Right now we are living through a period of time like no other. So, while the Heritage Festival gives us an opportunity to remember and honour our island’s rich and amazing history, we also recognise that this time, right now, will be remembered as significant for generations to come.

Covid-19 has proved to the rest of the world what we already knew. That Guernsey has one of the strongest, proudest communities anywhere and it is this spirit that has seen us through the most challenging of modern times. But this stoic attitude is nothing new. It’s in our blood. One of our most enduring periods of our history, the Occupation, is still in living memory.

It’s time to celebrate not just our amazing island, but our amazing community, and those who make it what it is.

We can’t think of anyone better to sum this up than you.

HOW TO ENTER

Your GuernseyTogether poems should be no longer than 20 lines.

Published poet and Guernsey Press features writer Shaun Shackleton will be selecting his favourite poems, which will be featured in the Guernsey Press, week commencing 26 April.

Please submit your entries to him by email: sshackleton@guernseypress.com – please include Poetry Comp in the subject line.

You can also submit by post to: Shaun Shackleton, Guernsey Press, PO Box 57, Braye Road, Vale, Guernsey, GY1 3BW.

Closing date: Friday 23 April, 5pm

All of the poems will be on display in the Guille-Alles Library for the duration of the Heritage Festival (Saturday 1 – Sunday 16 May).

WHAT YOU CAN WIN

Our lucky winner, and a friend, will be able to enjoy a relaxing staycation right here on-island.

We have dinner, an overnight stay and breakfast courtesy of The Little Big Hotel Group, at your choice of one of their three fabulous hotels – Les Douvres, Fleur du Jardin or The Peninsula.

From spectacular south coast views that inspired Renoir and our hidden rural countryside to the sweeping golden sands of the northern coastline, it’s all in walking distance of one of the group’s three hotels.

Whichever you choose, it’s sure to provide inspiration to any keen writer.

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