Poetry competition expands to coincide with Lost Words exhibition at Inspired by ... gallery

Starlings by Jackie Morris
Starlings by Jackie Morris

A nature poetry competition that coincides with the staging of the Lost Words exhibition at the North York Moors National Park’s Inspired by… gallery at Danby has been expanded to include an adults’ writing category.

The competition is one of a raft of events and activities coinciding with The Lost Words exhibition which is being hosted at the gallery until July 29 as part of a nationwide tour from Compton Verney Art Gallery.

The gallery is the only northern England venue hosting the exhibition which displays the ‘spells’ by Robert Macfarlane and watercolour illustrations by artist Jackie Morris that were used to create The Lost Words book.

Youngsters can join one of the poetry days being organised at Danby where they will be invited to write their own acrostic poem inspired by nature’s sights, smells and sounds after listening to local actress Bidi Iredale read some of the book’s spells.

The children’s verses will be suspended on a Poem Tree at the gallery and the writers will each receive a letter of encouragement.

Macfarlane will then judge a shortlist of 10 entries with the winner and runner-up each receiving a handwritten copy of one of his spells in addition to the gold-stamped and signed copy of The Lost Words given to all of the finalists.

Due to popular demand the gallery has now also added a category for adults who can win a copy of the Spell Songs CD which is released on July 12.

Alongside the competition The Lost Words theme will run through other National Park events including a treasure hunt, art workshops and Rosedale Wildlife Week which runs until June 29.

Sally-Ann Smith, curator of the Inspired by… gallery comments: “We’ve designed the event programme to stay faithful to The Lost Words which has created such a strong grassroots movement, re-awakening people’s awareness and appreciation of the natural world.

“Therefore while youngsters can write poems, go on guided countryside walks and create nature-inspired collages, we’ve also planned events where adults can get involved such as creating a life-sized sculpture of a heron, the subject of one of the spells in The Lost Words, or joining a creative writing workshop that takes inspiration from the North York Moors.”