Thursday, November 11, 2010

Poetry, Harlow and Remembrance

This week to mark Remembrance Day, I have been pleased to organise a veryspecial event in the House of  Commons with Andrew Motion (Poet Laureate), perhaps the most famous poet in Britain.

Mr Motion will be giving a special reading of his new book, Laurels and Donkey's. The money raised from this book will be given to a special Royal Marines Charity, to help rehabilitate wounded soldiers.

But this is not just a remarkable evening because of Mr Motion. It is also a special event for Harlow.

Not long ago I asked school children and students in Harlow to partake in a competition to write their own poetry with the theme of conflict and remembrance. Council Chairman Sue Livings, Arts Council Chairman John Steer and Downs School Head David Yeld, judged the entries that we received.

As a result, 5 students from Harlow have been invited to come to the House of Commons this Thursday 11th November to celebrate Armistice Day. Laura Richardson, Charlotte Mercer, Sinead Jolley, Lilli Tracy, Maisie Ayers, Paige Wheeler-Kavanagh. The winning entry (and second best poem) - judged by Andrew Motion will have their poem out to Mr Motion and fellow Members of Parliament.

The judges and myself have been struck - and moved by the excellent poetry that was submitted, with many entries reflecting compelling personal stories. It will be a proud evening for Harlow and a wonderful occasion.

It is expected that many people will be in attendance from Cabinet members to Ministers and MPs. As well as looking forward to meeting Mr Motion, I am especially pleased to be congratulating the amazing poets from our town.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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