Powerful prison poetry at the Football Museum

The ENiGMA National Poetry Competition engaged over 50 Novus education teams within prisons across the country. Novus delivers education, training and employability services, underpinned by functional English and Maths, to adults and young people in UK prisons.

Each prison ran a competition with their own learners before choosing the three best poems to submit to the national competition. The National Football Museum received over 100 shortlisted poems which Poet in Residence, Paul Cookson, further designated winners, runner ups and highly commended poems.

The winners will receive poetry books as prizes and their work will be displayed at the National Football Museum for visitors to enjoy.

The Museum will display the poems from Sunday 24 August to the end of December.

“It was a pleasure and a privilege to read the poems in the ENiGMA National Poetry Competition. Personal, touching, honest and heart-warming. All of the prove the immense power of poetry and the importance of the written word.”
- Paul Cookson, National Football Museum Poet in Residence

Novus support over 65,000 offenders every year in the Male and Female Estate in more than 60 establishments in the North East, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire, North West, London and Kent and Sussex.

Lesley Littlewood, National Training and Development Manager, Novus, said:

“Statistics show that nearly half of the people entering the prison system have low level literacy and numeracy skills. Through our education teams, we have the opportunity to support our learners in acquiring the skills they need to gain their English and maths qualifications and take the next step in their education. Good education raises aspirations, giving learners the skills they need to find jobs, which will ultimately help them onto a crime free path.”