Anna’s victorious as Altrincham school stages first ever poetry recital

By David Prior at

Loreto Grammar School recently staged its first ever formal poetry recital.

Fourteen A Level and GCSE students at the leading Altrincham Catholic girls’ grammar school recited a poem pre-dating the First World War and then one from the modern era.

Anna Probert, 17, was the overall winner, reciting Shakespeare’s ironic yet heartfelt Sonnet 130 and Craig Raine’s enigmatic ‘A Martian Sends a Postcard Home’.

Molly Lynch, 16, with the haunting ‘How to Kill’ by Keith Douglas and ‘Remembrance’ by Emily Bronte, came second, with Year 11 student Alice Kenny securing third place.

Anna said: “As was proved by the Nobel award to Bob Dylan, the boundaries of what is considered poetry are changing and I feel any piece of writing can be considered a poem so long as it stirs the imagination and has some original expression.”

Pictured (from left): Loreto students Jasmine Sawyer, Anna Probert, Pia Brazil North and Molly Lynch

Both Molly and Anna will now go on to the next stage of the ‘Poetry by Heart’ competition, competing in the regional rounds and then hopefully on to the national level of the competition which is taking place at the British Library with a number of published poets acting as judges.

Loreto currently has over 50 girls taking English Literature A Level.

Loreto’s Second in Department, Linda Gaffney, said: “We felt that it was important to reconnect our students with the art of poetry performance and encourage a spirit of independence in the selection and preparation of performances.

“The power and passion of the spoken word, arranged so carefully and clearly, created a magical atmosphere for the audience. The poems performed varied tremendously in terms of style and era, from satirical elegy to sonnet and told tales of war, love, loss and hope.”

In the interval friends and parents enjoyed a music recital, canapes and fizz at what was the first of what is intended to be an annual event.