Former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion to judge charity poetry competition for Camden homeless

10:00 25 February 2014

Sir Andrew Motion is judging the poetry competition. Picture; PA Archive/Gareth Fuller.

Sir Andrew Motion is judging the poetry competition. Picture; PA Archive/Gareth Fuller.

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Amateur poets have taken the opportunity to have work judged by former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion as part of a competition to support homeless shelters.

Golders Green publisher Adele Ward. Picture: Nigel Sutton.Golders Green publisher Adele Ward. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Golders Green publisher Adele Ward, 55, co-founder of Ward Wood Publishing, is supporting the Lumen and Camden Poetry Competition in support of homelessness charity Caris Camden.

The mother-of-two, who lives in The Drive, Golders Green, will publish the winning poem, chosen by Sir Andrew, in a special chapbook, a small book or pamphlet of poems, ballads or stories.

She said: “I left home at 16 and was lucky enough to find a good job, but I think, leaving home at that age, I knew how easily it can go the other way.

“Because of that, I worry for people who are homeless. So that’s why it is a charity that tugs on my heart strings.”

The competition, started in 2010, is part of the Lumen and Camden Poetry Series, which was set up by poet Ruth O’Callaghan.

Each month, the project runs poetry readings at a homeless shelter in Trinity United Reform Church, in Camden Town, and another shelter in Lumen United Reform Church, in Bloomsbury.

All the money raised from the poetry readings and the competition is used to help run the shelters at both churches and another at King’s Cross Methodist Church.

Current Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy was the inaugural patron and competition judge.

Last Tuesday, Sir Andrew, who is judging the competition for the first time, gave a reading at the Lumen United Reform Church.

He told the Ham&High: “I’m delighted to be reading my poems in support of such a good cause, especially as someone who lives in Camden and is at home here.”

Competition entrants were asked to submit previously unpublished poems of up to 40 lines.

They had to donate £2.50 to Caris Camden for each poem submitted and could also submit six in exchange for a £10 donation.

The winner will receive 50 free published copies of their work and the chance to read their poetry at a special launch event.

Ms Ward added: “I know that the people who run the shelters said they couldn’t do it without the donations from poetry. Last year, about 60 per cent of what they did was paid for by poetry.”

For more information about the competition, visit


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