7 February, 2020

Poetry Competition launches at Winter Words

Pitlochry Festival Theatre are delighted to announce the launch of the 2020 Poetry Competition for Shades of Tay, in partnership with John Muir Trust and sponsored by The Highland Book Prize, 3.30pm Saturday, 15 February.

The Winter Words Festival, celebrating Stories, Scotland and the Natural world, and kick-starting Scotland’s literary year into gear, is the perfect place to invite people to write about and celebrate the River Tay in poetry. Shades of Tay is an artistic, three-year voyage, 2019 - 2022, and in this Year of Scotland’s Coasts and Waters, it is the perfect time too.

There will be three categories: Young people 5-17 years, Amateur Adults 18+ and Professional Poets. Renowned Highland Perthshire poet, Kenneth Steven will lead a workshop on the Saturday morning, guiding writers, accomplished or beginners, to craft their words, taking inspiration from the Tay to create a piece of work, the best of which will be read by Kenneth, along with Head of Literature, Languages and Publishing at Creative Scotland Mairi Kidd, as part of the official launch in the afternoon.

During the next 12 months, PFT will be delivering workshops in schools and community venues to inspire local people to express themselves through poetry and winners of the competition will be read out at a special event during Winter Words 2021.

Amy Liptrott, Associate Director at the theatre explains, “I’m looking forward to working with both the John Muir Trust and The Highland Book Prize, in celebrating the Tay. Both organisations have a history in our landscape and celebrating our heritage. Shades Of Tay is a great way for Pitlochry to start conversations about the stories we need to be telling for the next seventy years, as we approach our 70th birthday. We want to tell stories about Scotland – with and for the people of this country, and the world. Our aim is for this Artistic Project to provoke debate and inspire a response that stimulates the next generation of artists, to bring people together and unite communities.”

“We are delighted our friends at The Highland Book Prize are sponsoring the professional poetry competition, with a £500 prize."

Alex Ogilvie, Highland Book Prize judge told us, "I am delighted that the Highland Book Prize is partnering with Pitlochry Festival Theatre on its ambitious and inspiring Shades of Tay project. As part of our focus on engaging the wider reading public with the Highland Book Prize, I am particularly excited that we are supporting the local community workshops envisaged over the next few years in both poetry and prose. Amongst many other things, hopefully one outcome of this project will be to raise the profile of literature written in and about this beautiful region, and the Highlands in general."

Rebecca Logsdon, Education Manager, John Muir Award, also agreed,The John Muir Trust is delighted to build on its Wild Poetry competition with schools in Perthshire. Over the last two years nearly 100 young people have explored their connections with nature and wild places through creative writing and art. This new collaborative Shades of Tay project with Pitlochry Festival Theatre will open this creative opportunity out to young people across Tayside. In particular we welcome the workshops with schools along the Tay that will help engage young people and support their ideas with inspiration."   

Alice Carbone, Wild Space Manager, John Muir Trust added, “The Wild Space Visitor Centre is delighted to collaborate with the Pitlochry Festival Theatre on the Shades of Tay Project. We share the same aim of connecting communities with nature and wild places.”

The launch of the Poetry Competition is a FREE event during Winter Words Festival the theatre. Come along and find out more. To book for Kenneth Steven’s Writing the Tay Poetry Workshop at Winter Words, call the Box Office team on 01796 484626or click here to book online.

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