Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial poems preserved in anthologies

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Anthologies of poems written to mark Holocaust Memorial Day earlier this year are to be presented to libraries in Liverpool and Wirral.

They are comprised of 63 entries to ‘Holocaust Memorial Day 2019’, the theme for which was Torn from Home, marking the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. There will also be presentations to both individuals and schools who took part in the competitions.

The presentation will take place on Friday 13 September at Central Library in William Brown Street in Liverpool, together with a screening of Anne Frank House Memory Walk films made in conjunction with members of Liverpool Schools’ Parliament.

At the event, a poetry competition will be launched for next year’s Holocaust Memorial Day, as well as a chance for people to design the cover for the anthology. Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 will have the theme Stand Together, marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Poems reflecting the theme ‘Stand Together’, should be submitted to: Jeff Dunn c/o Liverpool Town Hall, High Street, Liverpool, L2 3SW or by email at jeff.dunn@si.liverpool.gov.uk. There are three categories: children at primary school, young people at secondary school and adults aged 19+.

Some of the poems will be read out as part of the 2020 Holocaust Memorial Day service, to be held at Liverpool Town Hall on Monday, 27 January. Submitted poems will be included in an anthology.

Liverpool City Council’s lead on Holocaust Memorial Day, Jeremy Wolfson, a member of the city’s Jewish community, said: “The poetry competition gives everyone an opportunity to reflect on the Holocaust and raise awareness of not only what happened but also to help make sure there is no repeat of it.

“With the ‘Torn From Home’ theme, we received some very emotive poems and I am pleased that we are able to make sure they live on in the form of the anthologies.

“We are now looking for entries for next year’s competition and I would urge young and old to start submit their entries.”

Sixth formers Eleanor Curtis and Caitlin Barrowman, who helped judge the competition, said: “Reading poems from children as young as 11 and being moved by their content is a credit to the talent shown by the entrants, and also proves just how important it is to give young people a voice when it comes to things so often left to adults-and poetry is a brilliant way to do this.

“As today’s youth and tomorrow’s adults, it is becoming increasingly important to recognise our input in shaping the world we are going to live in, and poetry and literature has proven to be vital to the entrants in doing this.

“It is for these reasons we believe this anthology will hopefully encourage others to use their voice through poetry too. Overall, we would both like to reiterate how privileged we feel to have read all of the entries this year, and how much potential l there is in the young writers who have taken the time and bravery to enter their work.”