The Festival of Compassion invites people to explore imaginations, play with words and write poems on the festival’s themes as a way to connect people and communities.

Festival Themes are:
– Compassion and self
– Compassion in education
– Compassion and community
– Compassion through play

Suggestions that might help to launch the writing:

Using the senses:
– Find a photograph that grabs you – in your imagination enter the picture and navigate by
detail – you might see things others don’t see… and listen…
– Look out of the window closest to you – what can you see, hear, taste, touch and smell?
What’s going on beyond the frame?
– Take a poem for a walk – with a poet’s eye write down what happens and changes in the
community you’re walking through that links to one of the festival’s themes?
– OR, think FESTIVAL and, when inspiration strikes, go wherever you want with your writing to
show Compassion in your Poem!

The editorial team will select poems that capture compassion in interesting ways; these will be
showcased at the festival and beyond, so be willing and available in October to work with editors on
your poem, if chosen. To encourage your creativity they will give away by lottery five 2x tickets to
the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra opening concert on Friday 19th November.

Please send a poem as a word doc to

Include a brief biography (c.100 words) as to why compassion interests you.
Line limit: 16 lines (Titles don’t count)
Poems must be unpublished at the time of the Festival

Examples for you inspiration
-‘The Job of Paradise’ by Roger Robinson linking to death (in a positive way)
-And one really famous one, ‘Wild Geese’ by Mary Oliver which links the human condition to
the natural world.

Deadline: September 30th 2021