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The University of Southampton

University of Southampton lecturer writes the BBC's Poem for Britain

Published: 10 October 2003

A senior lecturer at the University of Southampton's School of Management has beaten more than 5,000 undiscovered poets in a BBC TV and radio contest with his poem reflecting the UK in the 21st century.

Dr Con Connell's work 'Harvest Time: a Needlework Map Commemorating the Millennium' was inspired by his researches into narrative and work with the National Needlework Archive.

Launching the competition last spring, the BBC asked viewers to match 'the intensity and resonance' of Blake and his epic Jerusalem.

Dr Connell said: "Blake's poem reflected the country as it was at that time. It spoke of England's mountains and the dark satanic mills. My poem has a different focus, it's more parochial, concentrating on the community and our own circles of acquaintances and friends."

His poem has been featured on BBC Radio Four's Today programme and BBC television's Essential Poems for Britain. It will be published in Daisy Goodwin's anthology '101 poems for Britain.'

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