Freedom in 100 Words: Arco’s Poetry Competition

Crowned ‘the most poetic city in England’ by renowned poet Peter Porter, Hull is embracing its poetic identity. With a wonderful variety of upcoming literature festivals championing poetry and spoken word, Arco are asking you to step in and indulge your inner poet.

The 100 Word Poetry Competition is inviting you to submit your poem around the theme of freedom. Whether you fancy trying your hand at a haiku or plan to stick to the traditional rhyming couplet, Arco wants your words.

The Judging Panel

Judging the competition is a stellar panel who boast backgrounds in writing, poetry, performance and directing, with their own interesting takes on freedom.

Russ Litten, author of Hull Fair fiction Scream If You Want To Go Faster brings his expertise to the panel. Previously a writer-in-residence for a prison in the north of England, he now tutors, runs workshops and seminars, and continues to write. His latest project, a collection of short stories, is due to be published this October with Wrecking Ball Press. Russ has a keen eye for quality.

Director Sean Mcallister’s work is BAFTA-nominated and packs a punch. His films are candid and frank, exploring the struggles of ordinary people in political upheaval. Hailing from Hull and creative director for our opening event ‘Made in Hull’, Sean’s no stranger to City of Culture events. His venture A Syrian Love Story was named The Guardian’s third best film of 2015. If you’re feeling inspired by Sean, what thought provoking take on freedom can you offer up?

Representing Yorkshire’s poetry scene is Vicky Forster, an emerging talent who has Freedom Festival, BBC Radio 3’s The Verb and Humber Mouth Literature Festival under her belt. As co-founder of monthly spoken word event Women of Words in Hull, Vicky is making a name for herself on the Hull scene and is well placed to consider the city’s freedom inspired poetry.

Regular poetry slam winner and writer, Hull poet and performer Jim Higo also joins the panel. Commissioned by the BBC to write a poem about his home town for National Poetry day, and a regular on the literature festival scene, Jim knows his poetry.

Altu ’Zulu’ Collingwood has worked all over, from the UK to Hong Kong, Spain, Germany, France and the USA. His interests lie in cultural projects, and his work with the entertainment and culture-based Universal Zulu Nation make him an experienced member of the panel. His background in hip-hop and the local scene mean he’s no stranger to lyrical mastery.

What you need to know

The winning entry will be used to support the legacy of Hull 2017. Arco are collecting symbolic items from this momentous occasion and placing them in a time capsule, to be revealed again in 25 years’ time. Your poem could be engraved on the outside of the time capsule to celebrate the glorious year.

If you’d like to share what freedom means to you and get involved in the poetry competition, all you have to do is submit your entry by emailing Arco.

The deadline to submit your poem is 31 Oct, so get your writing caps on.