St Swithun’s pupil wins Hampshire Poetry By Heart competition

23 Apr 2013

Jodie Russell, aged 15 from Winchester, is the Hampshire Poetry By Heart champion after winning the county competition which took place at the Discovery Centre in Winchester on 20th March.

Jodie had previously been selected to represent St Swithun’s following a competition at the school where she beat eight other contestants to gain a place in the county competition.

At the county stage, students were asked to recite one poem from the Poetry By Heart anthology that was published before 1914 and one poem from the Poetry By Heart anthology published in or after 1914. Jodie was competing against other strong orators but delivered accomplished renditions of The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde and God, A Poem by James Fenton to win first prize.

Jodie will now progress to the national final in April at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The final will feature a panel of guest judges from the worlds of poetry, acting and English teaching. Participants will read their chosen poems with the highest scoring competitor being awarded the title of National Champion, winning prizes for them and their school as well as the coveted Poetry By Heart trophy.

Photo: Jodie Russell performing her poems at St Swithun’s School