Poetry on the platforms

Claire Lynn
9 April 2024

The winning poems from our annual National Poetry Day competition are now on display at a busy Metro station.

On National Poetry Day in October, we invited poets young and old to submit poems on the theme of ‘Journey’.

Over 300 entries were received and four - one winner and three runners up - are now on display in large poster sites at Longbenton Metro Station, which is used by more than one million customers every year.

The poems were judged by representatives from Nexus, plus poet Kris Johnson and Alice Mullen, manager of the Poetry Book Society.

Claire Lynn, a creative writing teacher from Hexham, won the competition with a poem titled ‘Crossing to Lindisfarne’.

She said: “I first walked across to Lindisfarne about 5 years ago, and that is what inspired the poem. I’ve never won a competition before so I’m absolutely delighted with this, the poems looks fantastic.

The runners up were Davina Prince, from Leicestershire, Phil Barratt from Norfolk and Pat Winslow from Oxfordshire.

As well as having their poems on display in the station, Claire received £100 Waterstones vouchers and membership to the Poetry Book Society and the runners up received £50 Waterstones vouchers each.

Judge and Poetry Book Society manage, Alice Mullen, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Nexus on the third annual Metro Poetry Prize. We had an incredible response with over 300 entries on the theme of Journey and the standard was exceptionally high.

"We’re so impressed with the winning poem: “Crossing to Lindisfarne” by Claire Lynn. It’s beautifully crafted and a real celebration of journeying into our local landscape. We hope it inspires you to start your own journey reading and writing more poetry or take the Metro a few stops further and dip your toes in our “pebbled shores”, as Claire so beautifully puts it.

"We can’t wait for people to read and enjoy them.”

National Poetry Day is an annual celebration of poetry, on the first Thursday of October. It encourages everyone to make, experience and share poetry with family and friends.

Longbenton Metro station has become a hub for poetry and artworks in recent years.

Four poems reflecting on the pandemic, by professional poets, were displayed at the station in July 2021. They were replaced by poems on the theme of ‘Winter’ in December 2021, and on the theme of ‘Home’ in January 2023, all written by competition winners.

Huw Lewis, Nexus Customer Services Director, said: “We have a long history of making Metro a platform for creativity, in many forms.”

"Placing art and poetry in public places like train stations, where people don’t expect to see it, is a great way of introducing it to the public.

“We received more entries this year than ever before, and they’re coming in from all over the country, which is fantastic. The standard of poems has been exceptional, and I hope our customers enjoy reading them as much as I did.”

You can read the winning poems here: Poetry | nexus.org.uk

© 2024 Nexus Tyne and Wear - Public Transport and Local Information.