Winning Words Poetry Anthology   This week we received a copy of the Winning Words poetry anthology produced by the Forward Arts Foundation and published by Faber as part of the cultural legacy to ensure the place of poetry both in the Olympic venues and across Britain.

William Sieghart, the founder of National Poetry Day and poet Wynn Wheldon compiled the anthology from a number of sources including poems selected by both themselves and the public.  The aim was to look for poetry which resonates with the Olympic values of: respect, excellence, friendship, courage, determination, inspiration and equality.

This week we also received the good news that all the young people who submitted portfolios for Arts Awards have passed.  They will receive their badges and Special Bronze Edition certificates at the celebration event at NeST gallery in Barnard Castle on the 4th October, this year’s National Poetry Day.  Arts Awards have another set of values: creative challenge, credibility, forward-looking, personalised and responsive.

Poets both young and old continue to add their responses to the Renga Relay which is touring the region, reaching Bilsdale, Richmond and Darlington this week.  In the words of John Donne, a personal favourite, whose Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions is in the Winning Words anthology:

No man is an Island,entire of it self; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main…’

If you would like to take part in the cultural Olympics and haven’t yet managed to do so, the Reading Agency is looking for poetry champions to read and review the Winning Words anthology.  They are working with six poetry reading groups around the country to blog about the Olympics and favourite poets/poems.  See