Poetry By Heart recital wins schoolgirl place in finals

A Bedford schoolgirl has won her way into the national finals of a poetry competition.

Rose Cocks
Rose Cocks

Rose Cocks, 16, a pupil at Bedford Modern School, has been named as the county winner of Poetry By Heart, a national poetry recital competition.

The contest aims to encourage students aged 14 to 18 in England to learn and recite poems by heart, not by rote.

The county contest took place at the Quarry Theatre in Bedford with students competing from Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. Rose won the judges over with her recital of the poems So oft as I her beauty do behold, by Edmund Spenser, and Poetry by Marianne Moore.

Head judge, Ian McEwan, said: “A brilliant evening seeing poems brought to life – with a great range of talent across both counties. Congratulations and thanks to all the pupils who took part - you made the judges’ job really challenging, just as it should be.”

Rose said: “It was lovely to perform in such a beautiful theatre. I also had the opportunity to speak to the evening’s guest poet Daljit Nagra which was great.”

Shelly Leather, Bedford Modern School’s head of speech and drama, said: “Representing BMS, Rose will now go through to the national finals weekend at Homerton College, Cambridge, in March, which will be judged by top UK poets and poetry experts. We wish her the best of luck.”