Huddersfield New College (HNC) is delighted to announce that Courtney Bostock successfully reached the finals of the acclaimed poetry recital competition, Poetry by Heart. Poetry by Heart recently announced a special celebration event for all finalists later in the year, as sadly, the Grand Final event was unable to go ahead due to the current travel restrictions.
Prior to the current remote learning phase, an internal heat for this nationally renowned competition was hosted within College, with five students reciting two poems selected from a specially curated anthology on the Poetry by Heart website. Entrants were tasked with selecting and learning one pre-1914 poem and one post 1914 poem, and reciting them from memory and with heart. Each recital was judged by a panel of three, including the College's Principal, Angela Williams, and scored against a strict criteria relating to accuracy, pronunciation and delivery.
Courtney chose to recite 'If' by Rudyard Kipling and 'A Century Later' by Imtiaz Dharker. Courtney's recitals were calm, considered and accurate, and her delivery of them earned her the top spot in the College's internal heat, and one of ten places in the Poetry by Heart grand finals in London. Sadly, the grand finals were unable to be held this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, so Courtney, along with the rest of the finalists, were unable to perform their recitals on stage. Instead, all finalists have been invited to attend a celebration event later in the year, once travel restrictions have been lifted.
The Poetry by Heart judges were impressed with Courtney's performance. Julie Blake, Director of Poetry by Heart, commented "We admired the calm authority that you brought to this rendition of this old favourite (If, Rudyard Kipling). You nicely caught the rhythm and rhymes of poem. Your performance of A Century Later by Imtiaz Dharker was characterised by good clarity and a really nice even pace. We enjoyed this very thoughtful reading and very much liked the way you spoke to the bullet (a reference to the poem)".
Sam Daley, Literacy Champion for HNC, said "I was incredibly impressed with each and every student who took the time to learn their poems and perform them from memory. It is no mean feat to learn technically challenging prose and recite it in front of judges and peers, and each student who took part should be proud of themselves. Courtney did an exceptional job of memorising and reciting her poetry, and it is a real shame that Courtney, alongside the other finalists, were not able to have the opportunity to shine at the grand finals. We look forward to the celebration event later in the year, and of course taking part in future competitions. Thank you to Read in Holmfirth who kindly donated a voucher as a competition prize for our winning student".
If you're interested in learning more about Poetry, we recommend taking a look at the Poetry by Heart website, where you can find a host of poetry available to read for free.