#APOplanets performance poetry competition

Preparations are well underway for a fantastically exciting day on Saturday 1st February, 2020, as we present two concerts based around Gustav Holst’s famous suite, The Planets.

As part of each concert, poems will be performed between each movement of The Planets, and this provides an opportunity for you to get your creative juices flowing, to enter our competition to write (and perform, if you’d like) one of those poems.

Here are some posters that can be downloaded and printed off to advertise the competition. One version uses a little more black ink than the other.

The competition is free to enter and open to all ages. You’ll need to write your poem(s) and preferably record a video of you or someone else performing it/them (the video is only compulsory if you or someone you know would like to be considered for performing it in the concerts). You may submit as many poems as you like, but if you are selected as a winner, only one will be performed.

Each poem should react to the music that is about to follow, serving as an introduction. It may also act as a ‘bridge’ between the previous music and that which is to come. Each should last no more than 60 seconds, when performed.

The character of the music should be your first guide when writing your poems, but they must reflect the characterisation of each planet as assigned by Holst (or the opening piece of the concert, which is the Sunrise from Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra). These are:

  • Sunrise – the sense of beginning a journey, or even a launch into the unknown with a sense of discovery
  • Mars – the bringer of war
  • Venus – the bringer of peace
  • Mercury – the winged messenger
  • Jupiter – the bringer of jollity
  • Saturn – the bringer of old age
  • Uranus – the magician
  • Neptune – the mystic

If you’re looking for some inspiration about how to write performance poetry, the BBC Ten Pieces website has some excellent advice, including this video (which happens to be based on the Shostakovich symphony we’ve just played – but obviously the principles apply to any performance poetry).

Winning entrants will receive a pair of tickets to the 8pm performance of #APOplanets, as well as a video of their poem being performed.

Click the button below to find our entry form. You’ll need the permission of a parent/guardian to enter, if you’re under 18.

The closing date for entries is Friday 17th January, 2020.