A special Poets’ Corner is to be created in Horsham Park.
The initiative - designed to mark the Horsham District Year of Culture 2019 - is the brainchild of the Friends of Horsham Park and is aimed at celebrating the town’s poetry heritage.
It is hoped that the ‘corner’ itself will be a meeting place and will consist of a circle of 12 tree trunk seats - each displaying a short poem.
A start on the tree seating has already been made after a large branch recently broke off the oldest oak tree in the park - and Horsham District Council donated it to the Friends for ‘recycling’ into a seat.
Poems will be selected for display on the tree trunk seats via two competitions.
Sally Sanderson, chairman of the Friends, said that three of the tree trunk seats will display winning poems from entrants aged 6-11 years, 12-18 years and adults.
“Runners up will be displayed on a poetry trail,” she said.
“Poems need to be on themes related to Horsham Park: nature, park wildlife, having fun in the park, sport, friendship, dog walking, running, etc.”
Nine of the new tree seats will display popular poems or lyrics on a theme related to parks or nature – some for children and some for adults, said Sally.
Poems in both categories should be a maximum of 14 lines and submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for entries is March 1 2019.
Grant funding for the project has been made by Horsham District Council.
Council cabinet member for culture Jonathan Chowen said: “The creation of a Poet’s Corner for Horsham Park is a most fitting way to celebrate our local culture.
“From the outset we have wanted to get as many people involved as possible with the Year of Culture celebrations next year, so to have local people, both children and adults, composing and selecting their own poems to commemorate park life in a park which is so central to Horsham life is a marvellous idea which I am sure will appeal to many.”
Sally Sanderson added: “We launched the competitions to coincide with National Poetry Day and we’ve sent teaching packs to schools to encourage entries.
“If anyone wants more information they can pick up a Make your Mark on Horsham Park bookmark from their local library or Waterstones in Horsham.”