A sixth-form student at Stonyhurst College won the regional final of the national “Poetry By Heart” competition held at Lancaster.
Mary Flanagan will now represent the North-West in the national finals to be held at the National Portrait Gallery, London, next month,
Poetry by Heart is a pioneering national competition designed to encourage pupils aged 14 to 18 to learn and recite poems by heart.
Those taking part had to choose a poem from each of the competition’s three categories – pre-1914, post-1914 and First World War – as part of the Great War centenary commemorations.
Mary recited “Sing Me a Song of a Lad That is Gone” by Robert Louis Stephenson (1892), “Badly Chosen Lover” by Rosemary Tonks (1958), and “She Who Has Not Died” by Edward Słoński (1914).
Mary, who also writes her own poetry and hopes to study English literature at Cambridge University, said: “Poetry is something I really care about and I’m delighted to have won.
“I am looking forward to the final, as I can’t think of anything nicer than spending three days reading poetry with other people who also love it at the National Portrait Gallery.”