PUPILS from schools in Leigh, Tyldesley and Lowton met Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy when they attended the launch of a language project at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Fred Longworth, Lowton CE and Westleigh High Schools’ pupils were inspired after hearing her read her work.

They are now set to enter the Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition, a series of regional competitions split into two parts.

Students who do not have English as a first language have to describe what a lullaby, poem or song in their native language means to them; while Other Tongue pupils have to create an original poem in a second language they are learning.

Schools will forward a shortlist of 10 entries and the winners will have their work published in an anthology.

Westleigh pupil Leah Finnerty, aged 14, said: “I really enjoyed it. I didn’t expect it to be so funny.”

Thirteen-year-old Imani Kyem, who also attends Westleigh High, said: “I can’t wait to enter the competition.”

Lowton CE High School pupil Megan Sutcliffe, 14, was really impressed.

“It was awesome. I had no idea poetry could be so much fun,” she said.

Westleigh teacher Heather Greatbatch added: “It was an inspiring afternoon of multi-lingual, multi-cultural poetry and music. Our pupils loved the experience.”

Schools who wish to get involved in the project should contact Claudia Conerney at Manchester Metropolitan University on 0161 247 1789, or email c.conerney@mmu.ac.