BLACK Country bards are invited to enter a poetry competition and wax lyrical about the region.

The Black Country Living Museum has launched its annual Prize Poetry Competition and this year’s theme focuses on ‘The Industrial Landscape’.

The region has a tradition of encouraging literary creativity and the smoking wastelands of the Black Country inspired authors from Dickens to Tolkien.

In the ‘Old Curiosity Shop’ Dickens described how the area’s chimney’s “poured out their plague of smoke, obscured the light, and made foul the melancholy air” while J. R. R. Tolkien based the grim region of Mordor, in his novel The Lord of the Rings, on the Black Country.

Mel Weatherley, head of learning at the Tipton Road museum, said: “The sing-song qualities of the local dialect and the rhythm and beat of the heavy metal industries have also inspired local poets and musicians.

“It seems appropriate therefore to continue to use the landscape, its traditions and heritage to inspire creativity through poetry.”

Any form of poetry is acceptable but poems are limited to 40 lines.

Entrants must be aged 19 or over and the closing date is Friday September 27.

The winner will receive £100, a family ticket to the museum and publication in an anthology.

Two runners-up will each receive £50, a family ticket to the museum and publication.

All winning entries will be published on the museum’s website.

For more details and to download an entry form, visit