Celebrate National Poetry Day

Speak Your Truth Poem

The shortlist is out

For National Poetry Day 2019, we invited you to upload a poem about a truth that matters to you, and tag it #SpeakYourTruthPoem. You responded with a magnificent range of work: poems about happiness, survival, loneliness and hope, about the truths no one dares speak, or listen to, and even the truths overhead on the top deck of the number 103 bus.

If you entered and didn’t make the shortlist, don’t despair: we enjoyed viewing all the entries, and the ones which were prefaced by words about the value of poetry are the ones we’ll be turning to whenever we want to demonstrate, yes, the value of poetry. Collectively, you made an extraordinarily strong case for the artform. Thank you.

The prize of £500 and a day at London’s YouTube Space will be awarded to one of the 14 poets on the shortlist – you can see them all on YouTube. Be generous with your likes – and subscribe to our mailing list if you want the heads-up on any 2020 competitions.

For reference only: these were the How To Enter basics

1.Write a new poem on National Poetry Day’s theme of Truth. For inspiration, check out these YouTube films by the five judges: Savannah Brown, Nikita Gill , footballer/poet Marvin Sordell, artist Chris Riddell and Manchester performance poet Tony Walsh, whose poem This is the Place has had more than 4 million views.

2. Speak your poem straight to camera: the poem itself should be no longer than 90 seconds. Start off by introducing yourself: say who you are and why you’ve turned to poetry to share a truth that matters to you. The whole film should be less than two minutes long. A maximum of 3 entries per person.

3. Upload your poem to YouTube and tag the title #SpeakYourTruthPoem, by October 3 Please include the text of the poem in the information below the film, and tell us how you want to be contacted by National Poetry Day if you are shortlisted. Do this by emailing truth@nationalpoetryday.co.uk. Remember you cannot win the Prize if you miss this step!

4. Follow National Poetry Day on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more information, and look out for #SpeakYourTruthPoem.

5. Small print: the judges’ decision is final. This competition is run by the charity Forward Arts Foundation and supported by The Space, and in submitting an entry, you give both The Space and National Poetry Day permission to contact you, to share your film, in extract or in its entirety, via their websites and associated broadcast or social media channels. This does not affect your rights as creator. Oh, and talking of creators’ rights: don’t use music in your film unless it has been cleared for use.