Following on from Saliha Khadim’s success in being chosen to represent Huddersfield New College in the regional heat of the ‘Poetry by Heart’ competition held in Leeds, the College are pleased to announce that she has now won the county heat and will go on to represent West Yorkshire in the National Semi-Finals in March!

This year’s competition was stiff; Saliha was up against other student ‘Poetry by Heart’ champions from Castleford Academy, The Co-Operative Academy of Leeds, Crofton Academy, Leeds Grammar School, Ossett Academy and Sixth Form College, Woodkirk Academy and Roundhay High School. Each student recited three poems in front of an audience consisting of the competitors’ friends and family, and the competition’s judges, at the Leeds Central Library. This year’s judges were of a high calibre and included Ursula Holden Gill, a storyteller and actress, James Nash, and Peter Spafford, both published poets.

The three poems that Saliha chose to recite were ‘Slavery a Poem’ by Hannah Moore, ‘It’s Work’ by Benjamin Zephaniah, and ‘Stretcher Bearer’ by Tommy Crawford – coincidentally the same WW1 poem that the HNC 2014 National Semi-Finalist, Jennifer O’ Sullivan, picked.

Saliha’s triumph in Leeds makes it the second successive year that the College has had a student representing West Yorkshire in the National Semi-Finals. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Saliha will excel in the National Semi-Finals in Cambridge in March and that 2015 will see the College’s first ‘Poetry by Heart’ finalist!

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