SKILLFUL King’s Ely Junior pupil Beth has had one of her poems published in the Betjeman Poetry Prize 2019 Anthology after being shortlisted in the national competition.

Beth, who is in Year 8, was shortlisted for a prize with her beautiful poem, entitled ‘Your Place’. As a result, she was invited to a Prizegiving Ceremony in London – a feast of fun for all poetry lovers with readings from poets including Wendy Cope, Lachlan Mackinnon and Hugo Williams.

Founded in 2006, on the centenary of former poet laureate Sir John Betjeman’s birth, the Betjeman Poetry Prize is a charity in the education sector working with partners across the UK to promote literacy, foster creativity and provide a platform for new voices from the next generation.

The competition invites entries from young people aged 10 -13, who must write on the theme of ‘place’ – a theme which encourages young poets to look closely at their environment and to question where they come from and who they are.

Beth’s poem, Your Place, is below.

You’re standing behind the curtain and your heart beats real fast and you stare up at the ceiling and wonder how much time has passed.
The misty silence as everyone awaits for backstage crew to drop the weights.
And send the red curtain flying apart and you’re worried you’re not ready to play your big part.
You know there’s an audience waiting with eager grins spread across their faces and all the cast are waiting in their places.
Your best friend then runs up to you and whispers in your ear: “For goodness sake, you’ve done this every other year!”
Something deep down is telling you that she’s right but you could stand behind that curtain until day turns into night.
And then the clapping starts the hearty round of applause and you know your time is coming, no more slamming doors.
As the light turns into darkness you give one final shudder and through a crack in the red velvet curtain you can see your mother.
Her eager eyes are flicking back and forth trying to spot you dressed as a dwarf.
With your too-big brown shoes and the wig that somehow smells of booze.
And your hairy red shirt and your checked brown skirt.
But now it’s time to step on the boards and show off to everyone that you are the dwarf lord.
With your shiny gold crown and it seems so strange to see every dwarf bow down.
As you enter the stage with a grin on your face, and you know you have found your place.

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