Poetry for Life : Competition Rules
These rules will apply throughout the competition. If you are in any doubt, talk to us.
The rules relating to copyright are set out separately, under 'Copyright Rules'. By entering the competition you (the school and its participating students) become bound by these rules.
The Rules in Brief – An Overview
Only schools/secondary education institutions can register to participate in the competition. Individual students cannot enter directly - registration must be done by the school.
Schools must have registered with Poetry for Life by the closing date for school registration to be eligible to participate in the competition of the current year. The competition is open to all students from Grades 10 to 12, from any secondary school in South Africa.
Each participant will be required to memorise and recite two (2) poems in the District, Provincial and National phases of the competition - one from the selection of International poems; and one from the selection of South African poems. All the selected poems are available on our website.
Participants will be judged according to a set list of criteria. The judging criteria and score forms are also available on our website.
Some poems from the selected list are longer than others. The complexity of the poem will be taken into account in the marking. Longer poems may be less difficult than shorter ones.
Competitors must memorise and recite the poems by heart, bringing them alive for the audience. The participant must be able to say the poem without reference to the words. He/she will not be allowed to have the poem with him/her. A prompt will be available to assist where the participant forgets words, but this will be taken into account in the marking.
Participants may not use props, music or costumes in the competition. The aim is to say the poem, using your voice and face to convey its meaning.
School registration: Only secondary schools that have registered with Poetry for Life by the closing date for school registration are eligible to send their competitors forward to the District phase of the competition. Register by downloading the 'School Registration Form' (under Download) and complete, sign and return the form by email or fax, by the closing date for registration.
Registration fee: A registration fee per school as indicated on the 'School Registration Form' will be charged. In the case of financial hardship please contact us.
Eligibility: Only students enrolled in Grades 10, 11 and 12 are eligible for progression to the District, Provincial and National phases of the competition.
Progression: A student may not advance to the District phase without competing in a lower-level competition at school.
Anthology: All poems MUST be selected from the Poetry for Life anthology (available on the website).
Class or grade heat: Students must perform 1 poem from any part of the Poetry for Life anthology.
School competition: Students must perform 2 poems from the Poetry for Life anthology - 1 from the International poetry selection AND 1 from the South African poetry selection.
District, Provincial and National phases: Students must perform 2 poems from the Poetry for Life anthology - 1 from the International poetry selection AND 1 from the South African poetry selection. It is recommended that these be the same poems performed in the school competition, but it is open to the student to select different ones.
Valid contests: For a contest to be valid at any level, at least 3 (three) students must compete. If there are insufficient numbers for a class or grade competition, then the first level of the competition may be held as a school competition, involving all three grades.
Number of winners: 1 (one) winner only should be selected to progress to the next phase. If that winner is unable to attend the next phase, the runner-up should be sent. Please keep the Poetry for Life team informed of all changes.
Judging criteria: Students must be judged fairly according to the Poetry for Life judging criteria (see 'Judging Criteria' on the website).
Props: Students may not use props, music or costumes during their recitations.
Scoring: Judges must use the official Scoring forms to evaluate each performance. These scores should be added together at the end of the contest to provide a basis for agreeing the winner and runner-up. Judges must not discuss performances or scores during the contest but may retire to discuss the cumulative scores before announcing the winner.
Ties: In the event of a tie, or judges not being able to announce a clear winner, the top-performing students must recite 1 (one) poem again for a separate tie-break score. Students may choose which poem to recite from the ones already recited in that contest.
www.poetryforlife.co.za - 23 April 2019