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Poetry by Heart is a National Recitation competition for schools and colleges. The competition is open to students in years 10-13, and involves the student selecting two poems from a set anthology of over 200, which they then must recite from memory.

Last year, HNC alumni Jennifer O’Sullivan, won the West Yorkshire County Finals (Feb 2014) and competed in the National Semi-Finals at the National Portrait Gallery in London (March 2014). With this fantastic success under her belt, College Librarian, Rebecca Wilson, was determined and eager to offer this fantastic opportunity to HNC students for a 2nd year.

In November 2014, HNC held its 2nd Poetry by Heart Contest Heats, involving three of our students, Hannah Walker, Hannah Phillips and Saliha Khadim. 

All three students performed exceedingly well, and after the two rounds (one pre 1914, and two post 1914 poems), it was extremely hard for the judges to decide upon an overall winner – when they turned to the scores after personal debate there was only a one mark difference between the two favourites!

However close, a decision had to be made and the Judges choice is as follows:

3rd Place – Hannah Phillips - She recited ‘Invitation to Love’ by Paul Dunbar and ‘Badly Chosen Lover’ by Rosemary Tonks. She won a PBH Runners-up Certificate and the book ‘By Heart: 101 poems to Remember’.

2nd Place – Hannah Walker – She recited ‘An Exequy to his matchless never to be forgotten friend’ by Henry King and ‘Morning Song’ by Sylvia Plath. She won a PBH Runners-Up Certificate and The Forward Poetry 2015 collection book.

1st Place and HNC Poetry by Heart Champion – Saliha Khadim – she recited ‘Slavery: a poem’ by Hannah More and ‘It’s Work’ by Benjamin Zephaniah.  She won a PBH Certificate and the Poetry by Heart collection book.

Saliha Khadim will now continue to rehearse her 2 current poems as well as select a World War One poem from the Centenary Collection on the Poetry by Heart website as she prepares to compete in the West Yorkshire County Finals due in February 2015.

We wish her all the best of luck in this future event and congratulate all three students who were outstanding in their efforts and dedication – we would be proud for any of them to represent Huddersfield New College in the County Finals.

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