Umbreen and Alicia, Year 9 students at Blackburn Central High School, are set to perform their joint poem at the Commonwealth Voices live grand final on Wednesday 18th April, at the Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa.
A total of ten young people will perform at the Commonwealth Voices spoken word poetry competition, including four secondary school students from Blackburn.
Commonwealth Voices aims to find our county’s most relevant, insightful and compelling young voices; young people who are ambassadors for and proponents of the Commonwealth’s values – democracy, free speech, human rights and the rule of law.
The finalists were selected from scores of video entries, submitted on behalf of students by secondary schools across Lancashire.
Finalists will perform their Spoken Word piece in front of a live audience at the Lancashire Civic Leaders’ Commonwealth Celebration Event. Performances will be judged by a panel of Lancashire’s most prominent leaders and dignitaries, including the Lord-Lieutenant for Lancashire – The Rt Hon the Lord Shuttleworth KG, KCVO; internationally-acclaimed poet and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE and Dr Yvonne Reddick, winner of a Northern Writer’s Award.
The top three performers and their schools will each receive prizes of an Android Tablet.
Author and creative writing lecturer Dr Yvonne Reddick, chair of the shortlisting panel, said: “I was particularly impressed with the quality of the writing in these young people’s poems – there were some killer rhymes and clever word play in there.
“They have real potential as performance poets too and, for me, that was exciting to see.”