Beth Molyneux, in Year 12 at Urmston Grammar, has achieved second place in the national Poetry by Heart competition.
Poetry by Heart is a competition where students learn celebrated poems ‘by heart’ and then recite them, typically before a live audience.
Beth’s journey to success began with her winning Urmston Grammar’s internal competition in January, earlier this year. Beth then entered the Manchester round via video upload, reciting Christina Rossetti’s A Frog’s Fate and WH Auden’s Musee des Beaux Arts. Her videoed recital won her the Manchester round. Having won this county round, she then competed against 6 other victors from the North West region and won this too, thereby earning a place in the nation final.
The final took place at the British Library in London over the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd April. Participants recited in front of a distinguished panel of judges from the world of poetry including Jean Sprackland, Dalit Nagra, Patience Agbabi, Glyn Maxwell, Tim Dee and Cambridge academic David Whitley. Actor Freddie Fox was also there to inspire and encourage the participants.
Urmston Grammar produced a finalist in the first year of the competition, when Ben Walker represented the school, but Beth’s second place overall is the school’s best performance to date and is a truly remarkable achievement. Her performance was described as “joyous”, her genuine love of the chosen poems shining through.