Local Poetry Winners Announced In Horsham Park’s Poets’ Corner

Local Poetry Winners Announced In Horsham Park’s Poets’ Corner

Horsham’s very own Poets’ Corner was officially unveiled to the public at a special ceremony on the 7th June in Horsham Park and winners of a locals’ poetry competition announced.

Grant funding from Horsham District Council’s Year of Culture team was awarded to local community group Friends of Horsham Park to create the Poets’ Corner area, just next to Park House Garden in the park, in order to celebrate Horsham District’s poetry heritage and culture.

Friends of Horsham Park organised a poetry competition inviting locals to get involved by either nominating a poem or writing a poem to be displayed on 12 tree trunk seats arranged in a circle in the park.

The group was inundated with over 100 entries and gathered with members of Horsham District Council and the Council’s Chairman Cllr Kate Rowbottom to announce the winners.

Commenting on the event, Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure Cllr Jonathan Chowen said, “The creation of a Poets’ Corner for Horsham Park is a most fitting way to celebrate our local culture during this special year of celebration. I was delighted that the poetry competition generated so much interest amongst young and old alike and that the entries were of such a high standard. We have created a lasting legacy in the park where residents and visitors can sit and reflect and groups can arrange to meet amongst poetry which commemorates park life and its importance in our community.”

Chair of Friends of Horsham Park, Sally Sanderson added, “This has been an exciting project.  The judges found it difficult to select the final winners as there were so many wonderful entries – all on the theme of the park or nature.  We loved how they reveal the many ways people value this special community space – for play, for having fun with family and friends, for connecting us with nature and for providing a tranquil place to relax and breathe.”

The winners were:

Junior School category – 6 to 11 years

  • 1st Izzy Cadman
  • 2nd Hannah Shelton
  • 3rd Saffron Ayley

Senior School category – 12 to 18 years

  • 1st Nadia Henning
  • 2nd Luke Jackson
  • 3rd Jess Hollingworth


  • 1st Maurice Packham
  • 2nd Hannah Valente
  • 3rd Rod Cuming

All nine winners will see their poems displayed on the assembled tree trunks alongside our local poetry greats: Shelley, Belloc and Year of Culture patron, Julia Donaldson CBE. The winning poems have been sponsored by Black Jug, Breathe, China Brasserie, Courtney Green, Denne Neighbourhood Council, Freeman Brothers, Horsham Society, Leasehold Management Limited, Martin & Co.

Shortlisted poems from the competition will be exhibited around the park for the summer. A map of ‘Poems in the Park’ shows where the poems can be found and is available on the Year of Culture website: https://www.hdculture2019.co.uk/news/horsham-park-poetry-trail/

Sally Sanderson added: “We hope the wide range of poems on display will mean that everyone finds a poem they can enjoy. Some are thought-provoking, some are fun and many just celebrate this wonderful park.”