Talented youngsters perform at the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2013
Founded by the Poetry Society in 1998 and supported by the Foyle Foundation since 2001, the Foyle Young Poets of the Year award accepts entrants from around the globe aged between 11 and 17, and has grown to be the largest literary award for young people in the world today. Numerous previous winners have gone on to be published, including Caroline Bird, Helen Mort and Caleb Klaces. This year over 7000 children and teens from 75 different countries submitted poems, all of which had to be read and thinned to a list of 85 commended poets and 15 winners by judges Hannah Lowe and David Morley.
The ceremony itself was an intimate and endearing experience. After a few short introductions a selection of the award winners were asked to read their poems, and it was wonderful to see the talent that these young people displayed not only in their writing but also their oration. There was a representation of every length, style and theme you could hope for and the force of expression in many of the readings was touching.
The most important thing about this award is its support and encouragement of imaginative young people. All the winners are invited to attend a week-long creative writing course at the Arvon Foundation centre in Shropshire, and are given a year’s membership of the Poetry Society, which provides help and advice enabling them to fine tune their craft. Previous winners sometimes get invited to intern with the society too, giving their careers that vital extra boost.
Opportunities like this that exist solely for talented young people to demonstrate their ability, regardless of their location or background, ensure that future generations can witness and in turn be inspired by great art. The only shame is that they are becoming increasingly hard to find. The Foyle Award has just been granted a further three years of funding, however, so you can rest assured that it will turn up a few more poetry powerhouses yet.
This year’s winners are:
Magnus Dixon, 12, Aberdeenshire
Lamorna Tregenza Reid, 13, Cornwall
Laura Harray, 13, London
Jennifer Burville-Riley, 14, Sevenoaks
Caroline Harris, 16, California
Esme Partridge, 16, Oxford
Emma Lister, 16, Devon
Phoebe Stuckes, 17, Somerset
Imogen Cassels, 17, Imogen
Grace Campbell, 17, Edinburgh
Jessica Walker, 17, Cumbria
Ila Colley, 17, Cumbria
Catriona Bolt, 17, Bury St. Edmunds
Dominic Hand, 18, Oxford
Ian Burnette, 17, South Carolina
Photos: Krish Nagari
For further information about the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2013 and this year’s winners visit here.
Watch the promotional video for the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2013 here: