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Poetry and Us

Guest Post By Charlotte Howes

What is poetry?

So, what is poetry? A brief look into the soul perhaps? Or maybe a way of expression?

The only thing for sure is that poetry is unique to all who read and write it. One thing that cannot be denied is that there will be a poem for everybody. Whether it’s a melancholic traditional poem written with a strict format, or a contemporary, more free verse style. 

Successful Poets

Throughout history, famous poets have become successful exclusively through their poetry. From William Blake to the contemporary Jamie Thrasivoulou. Every person’s life is touched in some way by poetry, whether through a love of reading it, or a hatred of an English teacher who loved Poetry just a little too much! Famous lines crop up in everyday conversation when we don’t even realise it. These lines might be through Old Testament Psalms or from poets like Dylan Thomas who wrote the famous lines, ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’.

Ultimately poetry gives ordinary human beings a chance to express, to explore and most importantly discover themselves through creativity, whether that be writing, reading or listening.

Oakwood literature festival

If poetry is something that stirs something in you; whether that be a desire to write about your own experiences or a desire to read about others’, there will be something for you at the Oakwood literary festival. From talks by authors, to workshops taking place where you can try your hand at creating a poem or two there is something for everyone. 

Perhaps you’ve been dying to pick up a pen and scribble down a poem, but not known where to start. Or, perhaps you already have a few poems under your belt and want to share your work with others, maybe even get a poetry whizz to take a look at it.

The most important thing is that people with all skill levels are welcome to attend the writing workshops, whether you are a complete beginner looking to dip your toe into the wonderful world of creative writing, or an established writer wanting to build a portfolio. 

So why not come join us for our workshops and talks, then give it a go yourself. Pick up a new hobby, or just meet new people with the same interests.

Get Involved through our Poetry Competition

Try your hand at poetry; enter our free-to-enter poetry competition. The Oakwood literature festival this year is proud to announce our second poetry competition which is open for anyone over 18. This is a great opportunity to try your hand at publishing something you have created.

The poems submitted should be relating to:

Memories of Lockdown

Perhaps you got a new dog, or learned a new skill? Maybe the time has been a more tragic one? Anything is ok, the only guarantee is that there will be somebody out there with similar experiences who you can perhaps reach through your writing. The only limit is how much you want to share and talk about.


The Platinum Jubilee: a time to celebrate

If the pandemic is something too recent and emotional to talk about just yet then you can always write about the topic of the platinum jubilee. For this, something celebrating the Queen’s reign, perhaps the coronation was something you experienced yourself and you can give a first-hand account of the buzz surrounding a new Queen. Or perhaps you just want to celebrate the things she has done over her long reign.

It is a time for coming together, for celebrating as a country something that has never happened before! 

So, there is a lot of free space there to write about whatever you have experienced with whatever spin you would like to put on that.


Poems should also be a maximum or 30 lines, but can be less. The winning poem will be featured on the Oakwood Literature Festival website. Of course it goes without saying that the entries must be family friendly featuring no bad language as it will be published in a public, online space. 

The winner will also receive a £20 book voucher, two free books written by Derbyshire authors Charlotte Lunn and Becky Deans and a free poetry workshop ticket for an event on 23rd April.

Poems should be original, having not been published anywhere before, whether that is as a blog post, or in a poetry anthology.

If this competition has peaked your interest at all and you’re eager to get stuck into writing a poem more information can be found on the festival website, which is accessible at:

Book Early

Our festival provides an opportunity to meet up with likeminded people and to express yourself. Give something new a try, or perhaps return to an old hobby or desire. 

Through the poetry competition and/or the workshops, you can create something with the support of your community and potentially even have a published poem on the website!

We hope to see you at the festival for a fun time, plenty of writing, plenty of reading and of course, plenty of food and laughs!

Happy writing!!

Tickets available to purchase at

Charlotte is studying a Master’s degree in Creative Writing at the University of Derby, aside from writing blog posts and being a student representative she enjoys writing and reading speculative fiction. She is hoping to publish her first novel in the genre and can be found on twitter.

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