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Launceston College Poetry By Heart Champions of Cornwall

Poetry lovers gathered at Truro library on January 30th to watch students compete for a place in the finals of a national recitation competition.

Four youngsters from Launceston College and St Piran’s School took part in the Cornwall heat of Poetry By Heart, reciting poems from memory for a panel of judges.

The teenagers had to learn three poems word-for-word and perform them in front of the panel of three judges, made up of professional poets, storytellers and performers.

The winner of the county final was Lettie Long from Launceston College. She will now compete in the UK final at the National Portrait Gallery, London, on March 16th and 17th. George Crocker, also from Launceston College gave also gave a stunning performance.

The Poetry By Heart initiative was co-founded by the former poet laureate, Sir Andrew Motion, who also created the Poetry Archive – an online collection of 200 poems – for the purpose of the contest.
A spokesman for Poetry By Heart said: “We hope that in reading, preparing and reciting, young people will gain much enjoyment and confidence.

“The spirit of the competition is that we want students to take poems to heart, not simply learn them by rote – and we have been thrilled by the response.”
The evening of recitals was opened with a performance by Mark Harandon, poet, actor and story teller.