A shop window for Norwich poets

A poetry competition winner is to see his work go on display in a Norwich shop – and more poets are invited to compete for a chance to put their words on show.

The first ShopArt! poetry competition was won by Norwich poet John Osborne, 29, with a new poem titled The Newsagent's Window.

His work will join that of 10 Norfolk artists on display in empty shop windows around the city, in an attempt to brighten up the city centre and revitalise the shopping heart of Norwich.

The art will go on display from Saturday and will include Dale Wylie's life-sized characters in a shop on Westlegate, and larger-than-life charcoal drawings of pensioners by Malca Schotten in the former Co-Op store on St Stephen's Street.

For six months from this Saturday, ShopArt! will see empty shop windows in Norwich city centre filled with a changing display of art by local artists. There will be a children's art trail and one window will be kept for young people's work to help encourage the future of Norwich as a cultural city.

Chapel Break infant school's Tardis project will display work by children aged between five and seven and other children's art will follow.

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts education team will host October half-term workshops with young people to produce art for the displays. The project is funded and supported by the city council and Norwich City Centre Partnership through the government's Empty Shops Initiative, and is lead by Norwich Arts Centre, which supports local art and artists and champions local and community culture in Norwich.

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Every month up to March 2011 a new poem will be selected by a panel of judges to go on display in an empty shop in Norwich, and the writers of each winning entry will be awarded a �100 prize.

Poets can pick up an application form from Norwich Arts Centre, email Grace Jackson at grace@norwichartscentre.co.uk or complete the online form at www.shopartnorwich.co.uk.

Are you doing something to improve Norwich's cultural profile? Contact reporter Mary Hamilton on 01603 772418 or email mary.hamilton@archant.co.uk.