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Science Poetry Competition for Oxfordshire’s young wordsmiths

Wednesday 3rd April 2019

Are you 16 or under and can you write a terrific science-inspired poem? If so, you’ve got until 30th April to enter the IF Oxford 2019 Poetry of Science Competition for a chance to win some fantastic prizes.

The winning poems plus runners-up will be performed at IF Oxford, the city’s science and ideas festival (proudly supported by Science Oxford) in October. They’ll also be printed in a special poetry anthology.

In addition, the winning poets’ schools will enjoy a visit from Science Oxford’s education team, including a half-day of engaging shows and/or workshops picked from our unique outreach programme. Other exciting prizes include science kits from John Adams and a selection of science-themed poetry books from Faber & Faber and Bloomsbury Education

Your poem can be in any poetry style you like – how about a limerick, haiku, acrostic poem, rap or sonnet? Remember, your poem doesn’t have to rhyme!

Your poem should have something to do with science – it could be about a scientific idea or discovery, or achievement such as the 1969 Apollo moon landing! Maybe a science lesson or experiment inspired you, or is there a natural world or environmental issue that is important to you? Perhaps you could wax lyrical about your favourite science hero/heroine, or simply why you love science!

The competition is open to any child at primary or secondary school, or home-schooled in Oxfordshire, and you can enter individually (with parent / guardian’s consent) or via your school.

Need some inspiration?

You can read last year’s Poetry Anthology here, or watch the videos of the winning poems read by Oxford’s scientists, volcanologists, engineers, trampolinists and even Science Oxford’s education team!

If that’s not enugh, you can come along to a free family poetry writing workshop at Oxfordshire County Library, OX1 1DJ on Tuesday 9 April, 10am – 12pm (book here) or Monday 15 April, 2 – 4pm (book here). These lively interactive workshops will get brains fizzing as you explore a host of colourful ideas and playful writing techniques to create science-themed poems. Led by award-winning poet Kate Wakeling and the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre and suitable for ages 6 – 16.

Once you’ve written your poem, just download the entry form from if-oxford.com/poetry-competition and submit your entry to [email protected]  by Tuesday 30 April 2019.

Competition judges are:

  • Niall Munro is Senior Lecturer in American Literature and Director of the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre.
  • Kelley Swain was one of three poets-in-residence at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History in 2016
  • Claire Hamnett is a physics teacher at Oxford Spires Academy, Specialist Leader in Education and leader of the Oxfordshire Science Learning Partnership

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