Poetry Competition

140 Characters of Slow - OUR SCHOOLS POETRY COMPETITION - £1,000 PRIZES


What’s it all about?

What is this life, if full of care, / We have no time to stand and stare?  (W. H. Davies)

ReLit was founded on the belief that a poem can be an oasis of calm in our frenetic world – a moment of slowing down and reducing stress. We were inspired by Poems on the Underground, by the ancient Chinese and Japanese tradition of very short poems, and by the principles of poetic Imagism as embodied in the original poem on (about) the Underground, Ezra Pound’s "In a Station of the Metro":

The apparition of these faces in the crowd; / Petals, on a wet black bough.

We want young people up to the age of eighteen to find their own oasis – a moment of calm, a time to slow down and to stand and stare – and then to translate that moment into a poem of no more than 140 characters.

We will post a selection of entries on our Twitter feed. And two of the very best (one winner up to the age of 14, the other aged between 15 and 18) will each win a prize of £1,000 - £500 cash for the winners and £500 worth of poetry books for their school library.

Why 140 Characters?

To prove that the length of a tweet can be a space for serenity and wordcraft, not rage and prejudice.

How do I enter?

Simply fill out the form LINKED HERE and send it to us. Only one poem allowed per person!

How do I indicate line breaks on the entry form?

With a slash / It's that simple - don't try doing it by hitting the return key, because that sends the form!

Who can enter?

Anyone up to the age of 18 inclusive, at the time of entering.

When is the closing date?

The end of the school year: 5pm on Friday 21st July 2017.

What happens then?

We will notify the winners, who will be awarded their prizes at a special ceremony in Oxford.

Who are the judges?

The judges are the internationally renowned poetry experts behind our anthology Stressed Unstressed: Classic Poems to Ease the Mind. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

What's the best poem ever written in fewer than 140 characters?

It may be ... To see a world in a grain of sand, / And a heaven in a wild flower, / Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, / And eternity in an hour  (William Blake)