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Foyle Young Poets of the Year Anthology

“To be in the top 15 is an outstanding achievement, one that I will be buzzing about for a long time... it has made me realise that I should share my passion for creative writing with as many people as possible – or else, how can I call myself a writer?” – Angela King, winner, Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2018

Foyle Young Poets of the Year Anthology The Poetry Society 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX, UK www.poetrysociety.org.uk ISBN: 978-1-911046-13-4. Cover: James Brown, jamesbrown.info © The Poetry Society & authors, 2019 The title of this anthology, The walls were not big enough to hold you, is from Caitlin Catheld Pyper’s poem, ‘Mrs Richards’ Year’, p. 26

The walls were not big enough to hold you Poems by the Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2018

Acknowledgements The Poetry Society is deeply grateful for the generous funding and commitment of the Foyle Foundation, and to Arts Council England for its ongoing support. We thank Arachne Press, Arc, Bloodaxe, Carcanet, Chatto & Windus, Divine Chocolate, The Emma Press, Faber, Flipped Eye, Forward Arts Foundation, Inpress Books, Menard Press, Pan Macmillan, Paperblanks, Peepal Tree Press, Penguin Random House, Penned in the Margins, Picador, Poems on the Underground and Poetry Book Society for providing winners’ prizes. We send our best wishes and gratitude to the judges, Caroline Bird and Daljit Nagra, for their passion and enthusiasm in helping to make this year’s competition such a success. We thank Southbank Centre for hosting the prize-giving ceremony and Arvon for hosting the Foyle Young Poets’ residency with warmth and expertise. Thanks to Marcus Stanton Communications for raising awareness of the competition, and our network of educators and poets across the UK for helping us to inspire so many young writers to engage with poetry and language. Finally, we applaud the enthusiasm and dedication of the young people and teachers who make the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award the success it is today. foyleyoungpoets.org

Contents Introduction Sophie Thynne Angela King Sammy Loehnis Elizabeth Thatcher Lucy Thynne Maiya Dambawinna Mathilda Armiger Suki Datar Jones Suzanne Antelme Cia Mangat Caitlin Catheld Pyper Georgie Woodhead Em Power Olivia Hu Maggie Olszewski

4 Nature’s diagnosis Of All Colours Talking to my car The Beauty of Right Now In the Nude Mr Sigiriya’s Weird and Wonderful Talents Lobster Shift Snakes and Ladders small print Elephantsong Mrs Richards’ Year When my uncle stood at the top of the office block roof God in 80s Movies House with Missing Teeth At the Funeral

List of commendations The Poetry Society, The Foyle Foundation Young writers and The Poetry Society Schools and The Poetry Society Enter the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2019 Access and nominate your teacher

7 8 10 11 13 15 18 20 22 24 26 29 30 32 33 35 36 37 38 39 40

Introduction “Our young poets forced their way into the final 100 through the sheer vigour of the voice.” – Daljit Nagra, Judge 2018 Welcome to the winners’ anthology for the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2018. Since 1998, the award has been finding, celebrating and supporting the very best young poets from around the world. Founded by The Poetry Society, the award has been supported by the Foyle Foundation since 2001 and is firmly established as the key competition for young poets aged between 11 and 17 years. This year we received nearly 11,000 poems from nearly 6,000 young poets from across the UK and around the world. Writers from 83 countries entered the competition, from as far afield as Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Malaysia, and most postcode areas in the UK. From these poems this year’s judges, Daljit Nagra and Caroline Bird, selected 100 winners, made up of 15 top poets and 85 commended poets. The competition’s scale and global reach shows what an achievement it is to be selected as one of our winners. This anthology features poems by the top 15 winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2018 and celebrates the names of the 85 commended poets (whose work is available in an online anthology, see p. 35). Judge Daljit Nagra says: “I was impressed by the maturity of the work we read; so many of our young poets showed a keen awareness of serious issues such as identity politics, environment issues and the global tensions currently between nation


states. I really felt our young poets were keen to explore the perilous state of our world through poetry; they seem to regard verse as a valid form of expression for serious ideas.” We hope the quality of writing will inspire even more young people to enter our competition in the future. All 100 winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award receive a range of brilliant prizes, including a year’s youth membership of The Poetry Society and an array of books donated by our generous supporters. 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 15 poets are also invited to attend a week’s writing course at the Arvon residential centre The Hurst, in Shropshire. There they spend a week with experienced tutors focussing on improving their poetry and establishing a community of writers. Alongside the prize, the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award programme includes a range of initiatives to encourage and enable young writers, both in school and independently. We distribute free teaching resources to every secondary school in the UK, share tips from talented teachers and arrange poet-led workshops in areas of low engagement. Each year we identify ‘Teacher Trailblazers’, who share best practice in creative writing teaching. We also commission Foyle winners to create features and challenges for The Poetry Society’s online platform Young Poets Network. Through this work we continue to support young poets everywhere, so that there is more outstanding poetry to celebrate each year.


Since it began, the award has kickstarted the careers of some of the most exciting poetic voices. Here are just a few of this year’s successes by former Foyle Young Poets: Jay Bernard won the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry and announced their debut collection with Chatto & Windus; Phoebe Power’s debut Shrines of Upper Austria won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize; Jade Cuttle was appointed as the new Contributing Editor at Write Out Loud and won the Saboteur Award for Best Reviewer of Literature as well as a Creative Future Literary Award; Margot Armbruster’s poem ‘Husk’ was chosen as a Guardian Poem of the Week; and Annie Katchinska won an Eric Gregory Award. Finally, as we reflect on our celebrations of 20 years of Foyle Young Poets in 2018, we offer huge thanks to the Foyle Foundation for supporting our anniversary programme of events and activities. We are grateful for the generous support of everyone who has contributed in some way to the celebration and look forward to marking many more such anniversaries with you in future.


Sophie Thynne Nature’s diagnosis i’m afraid to say i’ve swallowed an apple seed and now it’s growing its roots in my belly. i believe that the trunk will run straight up through me until i have a wooden spine and ribs of solid oak. i think the seed will grow, and make branches in my lungs till it pokes holes in the chambers of my heart. i’ll become a common topiary, a little sapling amongst others and soon leaves and blossom will sprout from my nose. doctor says not to snack on soil, if i can help it, but mummy laughed so i think there is no proper cure and i cried in the car as we turned the junction and she turned to me and said that we’ll go around and round until my pip falls out and i’m just a little pot again.


Angela King Of All Colours Parading down the streets of Russia in silence, it’s 1993 and to be or not to be is whispered from balcony to balcony, corner shop to corner shop and the husky has chewed the newspaper. He’s ripped the headlines to shreds and the woman, in a multi-coloured bobble hat, she sits on a bench. Fingers trembling, she threads. Like a natural, she tosses Sunday 21st March to the side, as now, like never before, she has absolutely nothing to hide. She weaves in and out on the flimsy, grey print-outs, line after line, spilling world-wide emotions, gripping the pens of all pretentious journalists and capping them for good. Pages and pages of feeling, bled from the woman’s fingertips, begin to pile on her front doorstep. So much that she’s having to side step in painful high-heels to reach for the multi-coloured bobble hat that makes her hair smile from end to end. In a fortnight, she runs out of thread. As the last knot is tied, the bureaucrats take to their beds. Flying through the poorly lamp-lit streets, she hurls the edited newspapers at pavements’ feet. She posts some through letterboxes, even at the barking doors that never seem to sleep.


She plasters them to popular shop windows and flings the last of them into the sombre evening. Headlines later and hand in hand, two women in multi-coloured bobble hats parade the streets of Russia, causing pandemonium, with none left to spare.


Sammy Loehnis Talking to my car I once went over to talk to my dream car, and I complimented it, even when it was sleepy and still I climbed inside, and touched the steering wheel, snuggled down in the cosseting seat, told it about its engine, how big, how many this, how many that, I looked in my pocket and found the key, I twisted it round, and it said hello to me, a little woofle of acknowledgement, I said, “Away with the rozzers!”, and there were now no cops, “Fetch me my driving licence!” a gleaming card of freedom appeared in my hand... Of course the picture has to look like a holiday mugshot. Clutch, accelerator, I know the tricks of the trade, and I give it a little woofle back in admiration. The engine noise a sonorous symphony of star-bound joy, the astonishing thrust driving us up to the atmosphere, along those winding B-roads of unbarred dexterity, feel the rear wheels lift off, the exhaust pop and fart childishly, and the car talking back to me. It speaks like Othello, we chat through the milky paradise of dreams. Away we sped, into the sky, up into the racetrack that everyone knows is in heaven...


Elizabeth Thatcher The Beauty of Right Now I grew up in a town decorated with honeysuckle and sunflowers. I was not born there, nor did I move there – I woke up one morning and the town came to me. The ground was paved with cobblestones, and majestic oak trees lined the main road (the road the travellers would walk with their dogs and checkered hats). The streets boasted an array of pastel houses – name a colour and you would find it there. Houses sporting vibrant gardens and shiny white picket fences, bursting with families of five who hadn’t a trouble in the world. If you looked up, you would see birds dancing in the sky with smiles on their faces and clouds that told you to have a nice day, and to treat people with kindness. When the sun rested, the sky was dotted with fireflies, the town populated by families huddled round campfires singing about living forever and the beauty of right now. I wondered when they slept, and I wondered if they ever needed to. I visited my hometown recently and the birds that smiled have since died, replaced by successors who just look worried. The crippling drought last summer reduced the oak trees to sickness; the honeysuckle and sunflowers are now wilted and shrivelled. The white picket fences are no longer white, but frayed and abused by the children from the houses who grew up too fast. Campfires are a thing of the past, ever since that night a couple of Julys ago where half the town burned to a crisp.


Instead, everyone sleeps. They live in their dream-worlds now, and I like to imagine they’re dreaming of cobblestones and sunflowers. I gaze up to the sky in vain hope – the clouds are grey and it begins to rain. I cannot tell if my eyes are filled with rainwater or tears.


Lucy Thynne In the Nude While on holiday on a Greek island we stayed in a small village, and at the bottom of the road was a nudist resort. This was amusing to us but I think for most people it would have been embarrassing. Driving down past it on our way to the sea, some of us shut our eyes tightly, while others stretched their eyes in an attempt to catch a glimpse through the tightly-wound fence, heads hanging out of the window. What we were looking for I’m still unsure. Some confirmation of our own tenderness, some glance at sun-softened skin. This usually failed, until our last day when an Adam appeared on the balcony,


calmly setting out his towel to dry. Sophie screamed, I burst into laughter. I think we nearly even stopped the car. Unaware of our dinner-party anecdote hatching, we observed in the passing seconds the whitened flesh, exposed, turning towards the sun as it wobbled like a pale dessert we would never order.


Maiya Dambawinna Mr Sigiriya’s Weird and Wonderful Talents My dad always told me Never to speak to strangers, So I always ended up Just speaking to my friends. I heard about him first from Tommy. We were walking home from school, Our backpacks heavy, Sweat dripping from our spring brows. “Mr Sigiriya can tie himself in knots you know!” I didn’t believe him. We watched some talent show on TV, and Contortion suddenly made a lot more sense. Next it was Emily, I think – “Mr Sigiriya cries leaves, Only little ones though – Imagine crying leaves from your tear ducts!” I didn’t know an awful lot about ducts Or biology. My dad told me the old man must have Green fingers – I wished I had green fingers, Maybe even purple ones. Adam received a birthday invite from Mr Sigiriya, apparently. Adam said he had almost perfect calligraphy, Other than a mistake on the ‘K’ of his last name. 15

Steven said that Mr Sigiriya once walked into His garden, rolled up his shadow and put it in his Pocket. He started to roll up his foot too, But stopped when he saw Steven watching. There was that one time when Lily went to water his plants; He told her he could levitate four inches off the ground, But only for time periods in multiples of three. I was twelve before I heard about Mr Sigiriya Again. I remembered his green fingers, Only this time I actually knew What that meant. Victoria told me his house was full of Olive trees – they just grew and grew And no matter what he did he just Couldn’t ever stop them. I liked olives. I wanted to Meet this ‘Mr Sigiriya’ and ask about his Trees. I asked my dad if I could visit. He said no. I know someone once told me He could catch a butterfly without Breaking its wings. I thought that was easy -– Then I broke a butterfly’s wings.


When I was fourteen, I met Mr Sigiriya, He told me he was a photographer, He could take perfect polaroids with his eyes And print them out of his mouth. I asked if he was ill. He told me he was Fine. I walked home – my dad woke me up the Next morning with the news that Mr Sigiriya had ‘Passed away’. Clearly, he’d been lying. It’s funny, because I always thought he’d Float to heaven or morph into an olive tree Or something. He had a bunch of weird talents Like that – I guess the only one he was good at was dying.


Mathilda Armiger Lobster Shift i want to mummify your flesh you’re ablaze beside my bag of bones so i can’t sleep you’re so still and i want to burn your gold wreathed limbs for slipping so swift into the dripping deep i want to kick in your soft brinks if you breathe so loud one more time lining your sagging smoker’s lungs with the biblical


dust of my rented room above the chinese shop i want to take my grease run hands down down down your hot red mouth slip in your wet gorge of a neck let it squeeze my fists in ecstasy i’ll crawl in disappear amongst your clotted viscera let me hide for a while against your spine and devour you from the inside.


Suki Datar Jones Snakes and Ladders There’s a house in America full of children Who like to play games Like Snakes and Ladders in their white Walled rooms. If they lose they act Up. But they’re children, what do you expect? Winning makes you feel powerful. Their parents are powerful People. They are expecting A work call right now, they can’t look after the children. They are not sure how a parent should act. They try to keep the sofa white; They watch the football game. There are students studying economics and game Theory so they can learn all the powerful Moves. 82 percent in this year’s class are white And male. They are the children Of alumni; they know how they should act And what is expected. There is a lady on the bus who is expecting, Holding her baby bump. Her face has gone white And she does not have a seat. A man with his game Face and briefcase sits powerful. That lady will bear her children And remember he didn’t act.


Due to a withdrawal from the 1982 Paris Act, We can no longer expect Our great-great-grandchildren To see an unpolluted land. The decisions made in the White House will make the sea less powerful. We will only see grass in video games. The biggest TV series and game Shows have the greatest actors And the greatest advertising power. The producers keep the views up with the unexpected. The TV screen’s gone white. How are we meant to shut up the children?


Suzanne Antelme small print if this product does not reach you in perfect condition, please return the packet and contents, stating when and where purchased. your statutory rights are not affected. well i’d like to return myself. mum will you pack me up in your stomach again. and tape shut the slit in your middle: the bit that opened like a door. mum the sellotape will make zebra stripes above the eye of your belly button, but i am recalling this prototype of me. please put one hand where my head will press against the palm of your skin, and walk us back: to the attic room where you first gave me to the air yellowed by a broken bulb light. mum, will you kneel on the dried up wooden floor: and imagine water and breathe. i will curl up in the middle of you, and shrivel. 22

at some point i will unfurl from the hug of your womb, like steam exhaled from the lip of a mug. mum, unwink me from the twinkle in your eye. and afterward run your little finger over the ridged impressions of sellotape, as if i leave my silhouette among your freckles. but your statutory rights are not affected. hello. you have reached our customer service hotline. we are currently dealing with an unusually high number of calls please hold, an operator will be with you shortly. [music]


Cia Mangat Elephantsong “Do you think red is my colour?” I ask with softest teeth. “What?” She watches the mattress, how it languidly sinks beneath my thighs. “It’s just that that’s the whole Indian wedding motif; always red.” She wipes away dark chunks of kajal, small streaks of black smeared down beneath her eyes, across her thick grey cheeks. After each cousin’s reception we’re here for a debrief; our herd of two, yawning, dunking rusks in our tea. The earrings we bought her for the reception are curved wreaths of gold and pearl, so heavy she pinned chains underneath her hair to support them. I joked her ears’ll sag to her feet by the time she’s thirty and she chuckled, throaty and deep; see, she is gentle and grey, far softer than she first seems. On other nights she would let me whisper secrets and dreams so big that only her ears would


understand how to keep them. Now, I don’t want to burden her from the jewelled glee of being decked up like this, her skin glistening like ghee – how am I supposed to tell her now it’s getting on to three that her red’s the colour I dream of after our nights like these?


Caitlin Catheld Pyper Mrs Richards’ Year The chairs – They were blue and curved and scratched your legs in the morning chill. But they were snug; A familiar, unchangeable presence, Despite the fact you would swap them like secrets. So really, it was a new chair every week. Then there was that odd sensation when you found your very first one – Like being reunited with a lost friend. But no one ever spoke of that strange feeling. The last year was about proving you had changed; You weren’t the weird child who collected and named worms anymore. However, the feeling of watching the last Christmas roll by – Well, that was a gut-wrenching pain that you shoved down, singing the carols louder. Mrs Richards smiled at you as you handed in your book, And you suppressed a grin of your own. Pride, you were taught in church that morning, was a sin, But if that were true, you should have had to repent for weeks. Compare your scores; Curse as you see how well your friends did, Rejoice, nonetheless, at the smiles on their faces. In RE, Mrs Richards talked with vigour about God, Jesus and the Virgin Mary. You tentatively raised your hand, ready to voice the class’s thoughts. “What is a virgin?”


The question seemed to echo against the bright walls of the room. Mrs Richards glanced to a poster stating the importance of dental hygiene, then back. “It means she was very clean,” she spoke quickly, “and you should all be very clean, for as long as possible.” The air in the field was heavy with the weight of summer. The sky was a thousand hues that you yearned to know the name of. You wanted to know why the seasons changed as they did. You wanted to know why the Earth orbited the Sun. You wanted to know why books smelled so inviting. Why. Where. When. Who. What. How. The sky stared back down at you, but answered no questions. The end was near; You could feel it in the electric charge that pulsed through your veins. You could feel it in the way Mrs Richards smiled sadly every time you raised your hand. A strange sense of time washed over the class you sat in: Monday to Friday – Eight till three. It was all a daze of heat and sun and dappled light, Seeping like syrup through the blinds.


These people had been your family since you could talk. Now, your wits snapped their mouths shut. You had seen the world through the words they taught you. Now, you were writing new worlds with every day that passed. The walls were not big enough to hold you. The fields you played in no longer felt endless. And you had outgrown your chair.


Georgie Woodhead When my uncle stood at the top of the office block roof he swayed from side to side, half-glugged bottle locked in his burning fingers, his silhouette framed by the black hole of night, flecks of scornful planets blinked behind his back. The whole world stretched out in front of him like the sides of a fallen-down box, and his eyes had been opened, and stared open as his shoulders shook. His feet stumbled back and forth towards the edge, the leather of his shoes creaking in protest against the gutter. When the bar had closed and we were tossed out, left to stroll with our hands shoved in our pockets like tree stumps rooted in earth, we heard his bottle, a free-fall smash into green teeth on paving slabs. He leaned over his small carnage in the same silence as we did, our mouths open, eyelids pinned apart, necks turned like twisted cloth. And him, with his frown slashed thin, disappointed, eyebrows folded as if he had honestly expected anything different.


Em Power God in 80s Movies This baby is born in pink mood lighting, synths shimmering as her tiny raw hands claw at the vinyl ceiling. This baby is born in a three storey house – powder blue and Victorian. This baby has Coca Cola and Chicago running through her veins. This baby cries prettily, and her screams fade out when they’re not needed. This baby takes her glasses off and all of a sudden she’s just too beautiful. This baby kisses boys in the rain and her satin dress sticks to her like something made of flesh. Like something costume design picked out for her. This baby tries to scrub her face but her foundation is stubborn – five hot showers and the bright burning blue eyeshadow stays. This baby thinks of death. This baby goes to Church but all the walls are blank. This baby tries to pray but there’s nobody she can think to pray to. This baby attempts to draw a cross and breaks her wrist trying. When this baby shows her Mother the bruises – the violet tendrils crawling up her arm, the soft press of her pale body – her Mother doesn’t send her to the hospital. This baby doesn’t need a cast if her smile’s still working. This baby keeps hearing glossy power ballads when


she tries to sing hymns. This baby runs as far away from the suburbs as she can but eventually she starts bleeding. Falls to the ground and paints an emerald lawn ruby. Her eyes turn glassy and the credits roll.


Olivia Hu House with Missing Teeth Imagine you are faceless and double-bodied, and your mother doesn’t look at you until the moon tinfoils you both, because you are only loved when in the dark and half-forgotten. This is a law of the universe, everything most beautiful when leaving. Your mother has taught you to love a body less body and more fluid. You know how smoke will break anything. You know this, your mother less flame a year ago, family picture severed at the lung. Remember you are only silhouette. Your tongue is buried somewhere beneath soil and the only way to dig is with a voice and teeth, both of which you’ve misplaced. Remember that it is day, meaning your mother remembers her feet, meaning she doesn’t love you yet. You are always wiping glass from your fingers. Maybe next week you will dye your hair, puncture each ankle into halves, become part river. You are forgettable at best.


Maggie Olszewski At the Funeral Brother and sister take polar bears. Brother parks his between two F-150s but sister’s won’t stay, instead follows her to the front row of fold-out seats and licks her wrists when hungry, so she digs through her pockets for bits of raw seal. After the ceremony, she feeds brother’s bear too. Family members say nothing because there aren’t any rules against bears. Brother and sister take polar bears for a walk, all the way to the Arctic and back. Bundled to their chins, they watch their bears ask other bears why it’s so cold here. And other bears say it could be colder. Sun a gravestone. Ice the body being buried. Time for the reception, sister finds hers scraping its claws through layers of white to brown, scraping an H, an E, Help, Heaven, Hello, and brother can’t find his at all. Sister takes hers into the funeral home and for a snack it eats its whole plate, crunch of ceramics. Mother says nothing because their father is dead. Mother says nothing but feeds the bear his shoes, his wallet, a wedding invitation he left magnetised to the refrigerator which now sits filled with fish. And sister hates the bear and the way it smells


but falls asleep on a bench with her face in its fur, rubs its ears now she’s out of seal, does nothing to make it leave though she wonders why it stays.


Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2018 Congratulations to the commended poets Maymuun Ali • Danique Bailey • Elinor Bailey • Zoë Benton • Maya Berardi • Lai Ling Berthoud • Will Boagey • Nia Bolland • Samara Bolton • Aisha Mango Borja • Jazmine Brett • Carys Bufford • Adriana Carter • Ella Christian-Sims • Chloe Chuck • Evie Collins • Ginny Darke • Lyra Davies • Cosima Deetman • Isla Defty • Linnet Drury • Amelia Dubin • Ruby Evans • Annie Fan • Sarah Feng • Lizzie Freestone • Iris Gilbert • Alisha Gokal • Amal Haddad • Gaia Harper • Matilda Houston-Brown • Rebecca Huang • Amaani Khan • Cindy Kuang • Meredith LeMaître • Rory Lewis • Mukahang Limbu • Serena Lin • Megan Lunny • Sofia Marliini Heikkonen • Cleo Martin-Evans • Marina McCready • Divya Mehrish • Edie Michael • Noah Morrison • Eira Elisabeth Murphy • Nandita Naik • Sophie Norton • Fiyinfoluwa Oladipo • Hayden O’Rourke • Niamh O’Toole-Mackridge • Emily Palmer • Sophie Paquette • Charlie Peng • Natalie Perman • Domi Pila • Naomi Rae • Morgan Rhys • Madeleine Ridout • Corina Robinson • Noah Rouse • Neave Scott • Sophie Shanahan • Claire Shang • Tom Shaw • Maia Siegel • Madeleine Song • Katherine Spencer-Davis • Beatrice Stewart • Zola Tatton • Donovan Timmins • Naomi Tomlin • Alexis Venzon • Sadali Wanniarachchi • Jessica Warren • Benjamin Waterer • Fox White • Hana Widerman • Maya Williams-Hamm • Gina Wiste • Jasmine Woodcock • Jessica Xu • Ziqi Yan • Julia Zhou • Sarah Zhou

Read the poems by both winning and commended poets in our online anthologies The online anthologies of winning and commended Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2018 are available at poetrysociety.org.uk/foyle


The Poetry Society The Poetry Society is the leading poetry organisation in the UK. For over 100 years we’ve been a lively, passionate source of energy and ideas, opening up and promoting poetry to an ever-growing community of people. We run international poetry competitions for adults and young people, and publish The Poetry Review, one of the most influential poetry magazines in the English-speaking world. With innovative education and commissioning programmes, and a packed calendar of performances and readings, we champion poetry for all ages. The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is at the core of The Poetry Society’s education programme. It sits alongside SLAMbassadors UK, which nurtures young spoken word talent, and Young Poets Network, our online hub for young writers. We also run special projects, including collaborations with the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Bletchley Park and Oxfam. We offer a variety of resources including schools membership packages, INSET training and lesson plans, youth membership and a Poets in Schools consultancy service. poetrysociety.org.uk

The Foyle Foundation The Foyle Foundation is an independent grant making trust supporting UK charities which, since its formation in 2001, has become a major funder of the Arts and Learning. The Foyle Foundation has invested in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award since 2001, one of its longest partnerships. During this time it has trebled its support and enabled the competition to develop and grow to become one of the premier literary awards in the country. foylefoundation.org.uk


Young writers and The Poetry Society As well as the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, The Poetry Society offers lots of other opportunities for young poets interested in writing for the page or exploring spoken word: Young Poets Network is The Poetry Society’s online platform for young poets up to the age of 25. It’s for everyone interested in poets and poetry – whether you’ve just started out, or you’re a seasoned poetry reader and writer. You’ll find features, challenges and competitions to inspire your own writing, as well as new writing from young poets, and advice and guidance from the rising and established stars of the poetry scene. We partner with amazing organisations, from the National Maritime Museum and the V&A, to the British Library, sparking ideas that travel far beyond the page. For updates, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @youngpoetsnet youngpoetsnetwork.org.uk Poetry Society Youth Membership is for aspiring writers and poetry enthusiasts aged 11-18. Members receive poetry goodies, discounts towards opportunities for feedback, The Poetry Society’s newspaper Poetry News, and other benefits. poetrysociety.org.uk/membership

Help young writers thrive The Poetry Society’s work with young people and schools across the UK changes the lives of readers, writers and performers of poetry, developing confidence and literacy skills, encouraging self-expression and opening up new life opportunities. Support us by donating at poetrysociety.org.uk/donate


Schools and The Poetry Society Foyle teaching resources, including lesson plans and online versions of both the winning and commended Foyle Young Poets anthologies, are available on our website. poetrysociety.org.uk/fypresources Poetryclass lesson plans and activities, covering all Key Stages and exploring many themes and forms of poetry, are easy to search and free to download. Each resource has been created by our team of poet-educators and teachers, with hands-on experience of developing an enthusiasm for poetry in the classroom. Find Poetryclass on our dedicated site: resources.poetrysociety.org.uk Page Fright is an online resource, bringing historical poetry to life with contemporary spoken word performances. Page Fright poets such as Benjamin Zephaniah perform their own work, and explore historical poems afresh. Resources and writing prompts help you create your own poetry. poetrysociety.org.uk/pagefright Poets in Schools help develop an understanding of and enthusiasm for poetry across all Key Stages. Whether you want a one-off workshop or a long-term residency, an INSET session for staff or a poet-led assembly, The Poetry Society can find the right poet for you. poetrysociety.org.uk/education School Membership connects your school with all that poetry has to offer. School members receive books, resources, posters, Poetry News and The Poetry Review (secondary only), as well as free access to our Poets in Schools service. poetrysociety.org.uk/membership Follow us on Twitter @PoetryEducation or sign up to our schools e-bulletin by emailing educationadmin@poetrysociety.org.uk


Enter the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2019 Judges: Raymond Antrobus and Jackie Kay Enter your poems – change your life! The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2019 is open to any writer aged 11 to 17 (inclusive) until the closing date of 31 July 2019. The competition is completely free to enter and poems can be on any theme or subject. Individuals can enter more than one poem, but please concentrate on drafting and redrafting your poems – quality is more important than quantity! Entries cannot be returned under any circumstances so please keep copies. Prizes include poetry goodies, mentoring, places on a week-long residential writing course at an Arvon Centre, publication in a prestigious anthology, and much more. Winners also benefit from ongoing support and encouragement from The Poetry Society via publication, performance and internship opportunities. How to enter: please read the updated competition rules, published in full at foyleyoungpoets.org. You can send us your poems online through our website, or by post. If you are aged 11-12 you will need permission from a parent or guardian to enter. For more information, visit the rules section at foyleyoungpoets.org School entries: teachers can enter sets of poems by post or online using our simple submission form. Every school that enters 25 students or more will receive a £50 discount on our Poets in Schools service! Want a FREE set of anthologies, resources and posters for your class? Email your name, address and request to fyp@poetrysociety.org.uk For full rules and instructions, visit foyleyoungpoets.org 39

Access and the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2019 This anthology and our entry forms are available in a range of accessible formats. If you require this anthology, or any information about the competition, in an alternative format, please don’t hesitate to contact us at fyp@poetrysociety.org.uk

Do you have an inspiring teacher? Tell us about them We want to connect with brilliant teachers who care as much about poetry as we do, so we can continue to reach young poets like you. If your teacher inspired you to write or read poetry, and you think we should know about them, let us know by emailing the following to fyp@poetrysociety.org.uk: Email us your teacher’s name and the name of your school, with a sentence or two about what inspires you about your teacher. Every nomination we receive will be entered into our free draw to win £50 of poetry books and posters.


Now YOU can be part of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award Send us your poems by 31 July 2019 and next year YOUR work could be read by thousands of people all over the world in an anthology like this one.

Enter online for free at foyleyoungpoets.org We can’t wait to read your poems! You must be aged 11-17 years old on the closing date of 31 July 2019. Good luck!

“These poems jumped out because they felt new and vivid, cinematic and alive.” – Caroline Bird, Winner, 1999 and 2000, and Judge, 2018

Profile for The Poetry Society

The Walls Were Not Big Enough to Hold You: Foyle Young Poets Winners Anthology 2018  

Read the top 15 winning poems in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2018, selected by Caroline Bird and Daljit Nagra. If you're aged 1...

The Walls Were Not Big Enough to Hold You: Foyle Young Poets Winners Anthology 2018  

Read the top 15 winning poems in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2018, selected by Caroline Bird and Daljit Nagra. If you're aged 1...