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World War Two Hall of Memories

Lest We Forget poetry competition

Entries now open
SUBMISSIONS CLOSE 5PM TUE 11 APR

Neva Solak, aged 8 years, reads in the 2015 poetry competition.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira.

Write a response to war in poetry or prose on the theme of the Western Killing Fields for the 12th annual Lest We Forget Poetry Competition. Part of our World War I Centenary commemorations, the competition is open to all ages.

The Western Killing Fields

The theme for the 12th annual Lest We Forget Poetry Competition is the 'Western Killing Fields'. After the ordeal of Gallipoli, New Zealanders found themselves sent to the Western Front in France and Belgium. During the battles for the Somme and Ypres, the cost of war was high for New Zealand, which saw many of its blackest military days. In 1917, as well as the relentless fighting, 14 of our conscientious objectors were shipped to the front line, conscription was extended to Māori and the New Zealand Tunnelling Company took a lead in the preparation for the Battle of Arras. This year you can respond to these events and more.

Competition finalists, or a designated person, will have the chance to recite their work on Anzac Day in the WWI Sanctuary. With this mind, please feel free to create a spoken word entry.

How to enter

To enter, send us your written piece, and your name, age, and contact details. Entries for the Lest We Forget Poetry Competition must reach us no later than 5pm, Tuesday 11 April 2017. If you are entering from school be sure to include your home email and phone number.

Email competitions@aucklandmuseum.com with 'Lest We Forget Poetry Competition' in the subject line or post it to: Lest We Forget Poetry Competition, Auckland Museum, Private Bag 29108, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142.

The competition is open to children and adults. There are three age categories:

  • 11 years and under
  • 12–17 years
  • 18 years and over

Entries will be judged by a panel of Museum writers, curators, and educators. The judges’ decision is final. There will be two finalists chosen from each age category, and these finalists will be invited to read their entries at the Museum on Anzac Day at 1pm. Finalists in the 11 and under category will also have their poems published in the children's publication, Toitoi.

  • Past winners 2016

    Listen to the 2016 finalists of our Lest We Forget poetry competition. The poets read their verse in the World War One Sanctuary as part of our Anzac Day commemorative programme.

    Read more
  • Past winners 2015

    Listen to the 2015 finalists of our Lest We Forget poetry competition. The poets read their verse in the World War One Sanctuary as part of our Anzac Day commemorative programme.

    Read more
  • Information for teachers

    Here's some extra information to help teachers who might like to include the Lest We Forget Poetry Competition into their classroom activities.

    Read more