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The Independent Honors Foyle Young Poets of the Year

By Harriet Staff


One of the largest literary competitions in the world, the Foyle Prize, funded by the Foyle Foundation (UK), is an honor bestowed on 100 young poets from 11-17 years of age, annually: a figure that includes 15 “overall winners” and 85 poets who receive commendations. The Independent posted these glimpses into the lives and lines of 15 young poets of the future:

Lamorna Tregenza Reid, 12, Penzance

She was inspired to write after finding her grandmother’s poetry books in the attic, which included DH Lawrence. This was written in response to his poem Piano. She enjoys netball and running.

Notes on a Piano

In the candlelight of a foreign house
A woman serenades Mozart, Strauss
She caresses her instrument’s fading keys
Llike she caresses the child who sits on her knee.

In the speckled light of a tree-strewn yard
A man sheds a tear to the strains of Die Nacht.
He plants a lily, as fragile as bone
Like his mother’s kisses by the piano at home.

Catriona Bolt, 17, Bury St Edmunds
Writing has “been an increasingly important part of life” since she started as a five-year-old captivated by Harry Potter. She describes TS Eliot as her “poet boyfriend” but Shakespeare as the literary “love of her life”. Catriona wants to study English at university, and when not writing likes to play the flute and sing.

The Eloquent Crane

Crystalline air and shadows surround the haiku of my wingbeat
opening to call a harshening cry on the echoing air.

Jessica Walker, 17, Cockermouth
She got into poetry through the blogging site Tumblr last year. “I found the writing on there incredibly honest and magically raw,” she says. Jessica likes Charles Bukowski, Edgar Allan Poe and Keats, as well as more contemporary poets like Andrea Gibson and Simon Armitage. She runs a literary magazine at her school and is learning Italian.

Fox Chase

It was then that two foxes would push their whiskered faces through hedges
dancing into the frosted garden
caught between snowflakes and the waning moonlight
red stained tails tipped with white…

Imogen Cassels, 17, Sheffield
She cannot remember why she started writing poetry, but suspects that reading Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood at primary school had something to do with it. Among her favourites are Simon Armitage, ee cummings, James Fenton, and Wendy Cope. She enjoys playing the clarinet, speaking French, eating chocolate, and the company of her rabbit, Oscar.


The nest that halved itself against the wall
the tightly woven sticks and clay of love, or instinct.
The swallows: quick, sweet shadows that forked and lit over the beam…

Jennifer Burville Riley, 14, Sevenoaks
Won the John Betjeman Poetry Prize in 2011, and says she has “a passion” for Shakespeare, admiration for the “creative genius” of Matthew Bourne and an “obsession” with the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone.

Caution To The Woodsman

Oh foolish woodsman, the whispering reeds are not sharing their secrets
but shooing you, shooing you far from this place.
See how the tar-black pools deny your inquisitive eyes,
concealing their treasures possessively with a mirrored shield of silvered sky…

Read on at The Independent. Congratulations to every participant!

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Posted in Poetry News on Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 by Harriet Staff.