Public invited to show off poetry skills and celebrate Bristol Zoo

To celebrate the final summer at Bristol Zoo Gardens, the public are invited to enter The Zoo and You poetry and story competition to capture their thoughts, feelings and memories about the 185-year old attraction.

The competition was announced, Friday May 13, with the release of a new poem, inspired by the Zoo by Bristol City Poet, Caleb Parkin, titled What We Animals Do (see below).

The Bristol poet has created a series of online poetry classes to aid members of the public with their own literary skills, and encourage them to celebrate their memories of Bristol Zoo Gardens through the written word. 

The online classes will also be shared with schools across the city to encourage primary and secondary pupils to participate. 

Entries to The Zoo and You poetry and story competition will be judged by Caleb Parkin, Bath-based poet Pey Oh, and literary scholar Dr. Samantha Walton. 

The submitted entries will be used as part of a special legacy exhibition to mark the final year of Bristol Zoo Gardens after it closes on Saturday September 3.

Scott Raven, Public Programme Coordinator for Bristol Zoological Society, said: “As we spend the next few months celebrating Bristol Zoo Gardens we wanted to capture the incredible memories and moments that have been shared here. 

“The Zoo and You poetry and story competition will allow people to creatively commemorate the special times they’ve spent at the Zoo, and add to our legacy celebrations this summer.” 

Caleb Parkin, Bristol City Poet, commented: “We’re looking forward to reading your stories and poems, which recall or imagine experiences, and look ahead to leafy futures for the Zoo. It’s an important space to connect with furry, finned and scaly fellow Earthlings and be inspired to create change. Be creaturely and visionary in your writing!”

Entrants will have the chance to win a family ticket, a goody bag and have their entry displayed as part of the legacy project for Bristol Zoo Gardens. Shortlisted winners will also be invited to participate in an official prize giving event at the Zoo, as part of the venue’s summer celebration programme. 

The competition is open to anyone, and will be categorised by age groups 11 and under, 12 to 17-year-olds, and 18 and over. All entries must be received by Thursday June 30, 2022. 

The poetry and short competition is part of a series of events, activities and exhibitions that will take place over the course of the summer months to celebrate this closing chapter for Bristol Zoo Gardens. 

Click here for more details and to enter the competition.

Now’s your last chance to visit before the Zoo’s last day 03.09.22

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Now’s your last chance to visit before the Zoo’s last day 03.09.22