Young person with pink hair reading poem with microphone
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Mirko Lux

5th poetry competition for school pupils with guest judge Kevin Mclean: Invitation to take part 

The British Council and Haus für Poesie are collaborating to host the fifth poetry competition for students in grades 6-12 in Germany.

Participants can showcase their creative writing skills in English or German while engaging with contemporary English-language poetry. This year's theme is 'Otherness', with a special emphasis on the power of Spoken Word. The judging panel will include award-winning spoken word poet Kevin Mclean, the creative director of I Am Loud Productions and host of Scotland's inaugural spoken word night, 'Loud Poets'.

The task for students is to compose a poem in either English or German that references and responds to Kevin Mclean's work, 'The Game', which can be viewed as a video or read as a text below.

The task

  • Pupils write a poem in English or German that refers to and responds to the work 'The Game' by Kevin Mclean. The Game can be viewed as a video here and downloaded as a pdf below.
  • Poems must be submitted as text and can also be submitted as a video.

 

Submitted poems should:

  • Be written in English or German
  • Be a response or reaction to Kevin Mclean's poem 'The Game,' reflecting on the theme of 'Otherness'
  • Not exceed 50 lines

The submission deadline is 10 May 2024. 

Kevin Mclean stands on stage with one hand raised up in the air
The jury: award-winning Spoken Word poet Kevin Mclean

About the 2024 competition

By taking part in our poetry competition, you have the chance to win tickets for the poesiefestival berlin 2024 (July 4 to 21), secure a place in a poetry workshop at the renowned Haus für Poesie in Berlin and take part in an exclusive poetry workshop with your class!

The theme of "Otherness" is the focus of this year's competition. Award-winning spoken word poet Kevin Mclean and Karla Montasser from Haus der Poesie will judge the poems. 

Poems must be a maximum of 50 lines long. Students must be in grades 6-12 at the time of writing.

 

Eligibility and rules

  • You must be a pupil at a school in Germany
  • You must be grade 6-12 at the time of writing your poem
  • Your poem can be written in English or in German
  • Your poem must be a response to Kevin Mclean's poem 'The Game' (PDF worksheet to download below)
  • Your poem should be no longer than 50 lines long

 

To apply

Email your poem to mitmachen@haus-fuer-poesie.org with the subject line: "British Council Competition 2024". In your email, please include your name, age, address, gender (m/f/d), the name of your school and your class.

Closing date for entries: May 10, 2024, 6 p.m.

Announcement of the winners: June 7, 2024

If you have any questions about eligibility, please send an email to Karla Montasser (mitmachen@haus-fuer-poesie.org) or call +49 (0) 30 4852 4536.

Prizes

Four poems will be selected as winners: a 1st and 2nd prize for poems in English and a 1st and 2nd prize for poems in German

  • All winners will have the opportunity to read their poem at the 2024 Poesiefestival and meet Kevin Mclean in person at a prize-giving ceremony on 12 July in Berlin.
  • All winning entries will be translated into German or English by a professional translator
  • All winning entries will be published in English and German on the website and social media channels of the British Council in Germany and the House of Poetry
  • Two winners will win a poetry writing workshop with their class with Kevin Mclean
  • All winners will win tickets to the 2024 Poetry Festival at Haus für Poesie, Berlin, which takes place from July 4-21
  • All winners will also win a place in the annual poetry workshop "Weiter im Text" or the "young poems" at Haus für Poesie.
  • Each entry submitted will receive personalised feedback on their writing.

This year's judge: Kevin Mclean

Kevin Mclean is an award-winning spoken word poet, the Creative Director of I Am Loud Productions, and the host of Scotland's premier Spoken Word night ‘Loud Poets’ (2023 Saboteur Award for Best Regular Spoken Word Night).

He has directed, produced, and performed work at the Brighton, Edinburgh, and Prague Fringe festivals, Glastonbury Festival, StAnza Poetry Festival, and Edinburgh International Book Festival. His poetry has been highlighted in media through STV’s The Late Show, and BBC Radio Scotland’s Culture Show, and The Scotsman Sessions.

More about Kevin Mclean and I Am Loud Productions can be found here.