Can you write a poem to remember?

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, will read the winning poem
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, will read the winning poem
St David's Road in Fratton, Portsmouth. Picture: Google Maps

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A FREE writing workshop is being held at Portsmouth Central Library this Saturday (March 24) as part of an exciting new national poetry initiative launched by Prince William last month.

Called A Poem to Remember and inspired by the Great War Poets of the First World War, the competition seeks to discover the next generation of poems that reflect on humankind’s ability to triumph over adversity.

The competition is being run by the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and celebrate the creation of a world leading clinical rehabilitation facility for the Armed Forces later this year.

A series of poetry workshops is taking place across the country in conjunction with the competition to inspire people to put pen to paper, before the deadline for entries (Monday, April 9).

The winning poem will be chosen by the public and read by the Duke of Cambridge, the Patron of the DNRC campaign, at a special event at the new defence facility this summer. The winning poem will also be installed at the DNRC and receive a £2,000 cash prize.

The Duke of Cambridge said: ‘Many of the memories of that conflict, and our understanding of it, have been shaped by the remarkable works of poetry written by those caught up in that struggle. I, like countless other readers over the decades since the war, have always been moved by sentiments invoked by the brave, young soldiers.

‘I am greatly looking forward to reading the winning entry.’

The Portsmouth workshop will be on the theme of writing about difficult personal experiences, and will encourage participants to write poems of hope triumphing over adversity.

The free session, from 10.30am to 1.30pm will be led by Maggie Sawkins, a Portsmouth-based poet and 2013 winner of the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. She has written poetry since she was a child and now delivers writing projects in community and healthcare settings. In 2013, she represented Portsmouth on the T S Eliot Poetry Prize 20th anniversary tour. Full details about the Poem to Remember contest can be found at www.poemtoremember.co.uk.