“If poetry is the language of being human, here we have poets speaking in every cadence possible. We were happy to get a sense of how many poets come from all different corners of the world – for there are no borders or boundaries to cross in the world of poetry and no one need carry a passport to get in.” Jackie Kay and Raymond Antrobus, Judges, Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2019
This week the Poetry Society (U.K.) announced the top fifteen winners and eighty-five commended poets in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2019 at an awards ceremony at The Southbank Centre, London.
Run by The Poetry Society and generously supported by The Foyle Foundation, the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award celebrates its twenty-first anniversary this year. Since 1998, the Award has been finding, celebrating and supporting the very best young poets from around the world. The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is firmly established as the leading competition for young poets aged between 11 and 17 years old.
This year the competition drew over 11,000 poems from over 6,000 young poets. Young writers from 76 countries entered the competition, from as far afield as Vietnam, Romania, Mexico and Japan, and every corner of the UK. From these poems this year’s judges Jackie Kay and Raymond Antrobus selected 100 winners, made up of fifteen top poets and eighty-five commended poets.
“This year over 6,000 poets entered the competition, proving to us how many people are turning to poetry to express themselves in these times. There were poems that experimented with style, using the language of social media and of text. Serious and surreal poems sit side by side in this wide-ranging collection. Witty poems and sad poems shake hands with each other. We were delighted to get such a strong sense of poetry being a living, breathing relevant form that keeps changing across generations.”
Winners of the award receive a range of prizes to help develop their writing. The top fifteen poets are invited to attend a residential writing course at the Arvon residential centre The Hurst in Shropshire in Spring 2020. There they spend a week with experienced tutors focusing on improving their poetry and establishing a community of writers. All one-hundred winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award receive a year’s youth membership of The Poetry Society and a goody bag stuffed full of books donated by generous sponsors. The Poetry Society continues to support winners throughout their careers providing publication, performance and development opportunities, and access to a paid internship programme.
The top fifteen poems are going to be published in a printed winners’ anthology (also available online) from March 2020. The eighty-five commended poems will appear in an online anthology.
Both anthologies showcase the talent of the winners and are distributed free to thousands of schools, libraries, reading groups and poetry lovers across the UK and the world.
Judith Palmer, Director, The Poetry Society, said of this year’s competition:
“A huge congratulations to all 100 young poets and a massive thank you to our judges. It’s the enthusiasm and dedication of young people and teachers around the world that has made the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award the great success it is today. We hope that the quality of the writing and the support The Poetry Society provides to our young poets will inspire even more young writers to enter the competition in future years.”
The top 15 Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2019 are:
Suzanne Antelme, 18*, Guildford
Dana Collins, 18*, London
Annie Davison, 16, Oxford
Thomas Frost, 18*, Strathy, Scotland
Lauren Hollingsworth-Smith, 17, Rotherham Jean Klurfeld 16, New York
Nadia Lines, 17, Hertfordshire
Cia Mangat, 17, Ealing, London
Em Power, 17, London
Talulah Quinto, 13, Ross-on Wye, Herefordshire Trinity Robinson, 16, Durham
Libby Russell 17, East Sussex
Amy Saunders, 13, London
Lydia Wei, Gaithersburg, 16, Maryland, USA Helen Woods, 18*, Oxford
*18-year-old winners were 17 when they entered.
This post is courtesy of the Poetry Society, Wikipedia and Amazon.
Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for permissions, commissions, or assignments.
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Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019
“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton