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OUP supports national poetry competition

OUP supports national poetry competition

15 February 2013

Oxford University Press announced today that it will support Poetry by Heart, a new national poetry competition for students in England.

An educational initiative of The Poetry Archive, it will see thousands of students aged 14 to 18 competing to become national champion for their skill in memorising and reciting poems by heart.

Oxford University Press will provide free content from the Oxford English Dictionary Online (OED), the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB), and the American National Biography Online (ANB Online) to support students participating in the competition.

Through the Poetry by Heart website, students can use free resources to explore the language of the poems, and the lives of the poets who wrote them in greater depth. Links in the poems will allow them to discover biographies using the ODNB and ANB Online, and review OED entries, helping to explain the meaning and illustrate the usage of some of the older or more difficult words used in the selected poems.

The competition is supported by the Department for Education and school championships will be taking place in March 2013, with county contests following shortly after.  The national grand final will be held at the National Portrait Gallery in April 2013. The winning school will be awarded one year’s free access to the OED and ODNB, and a national winner’s trophy will be presented to the most outstanding young competitor.

Judy Pearsall, Editorial Director for Dictionaries at Oxford University Press said: ‘We’re delighted to partner with Poetry by Heart, whose mission to promote a creative understanding of poetry resonates with our own mission of furthering education and disseminating knowledge. We hope that students will find the additional Oxford resources helpful as they prepare for the competition.’

Former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion is co-founder of the Poetry by Heart initiative. He said: ‘Poetry by Heart is delighted to form a partnership with OUP, which adds enormously to the pleasure and interest of our website. Participants in the competition now have the opportunity to explore the roots and branches of the words in poems they are learning, as well as the intricacies of the poets’ lives - so they can keep their feet on the ground and fly at the same time.’

For more information see the Poetry by Heart website.