Lullabies of Distant Traffic: Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award Commended Anthology 2022

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Foyle Young Poets of the Year Anthology

“To be part of such a joyful festivity of language, of experiences, of identities is a privilege. It is a wonderfully heady feeling to belong to such a community.”

— Liv Goldreich, commended Foyle Young Poet 2020 & 2021, and top 15 winner 2022

Foyle Young Poets of the Year Anthology

The Poetry Society

22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX, UK

Cover: James Brown,

© The Poetry Society & authors, 2023

The title of this anthology, Lullabies of Distant Traffic, is from Zahra Rafiq’s poem ‘The Oyster’

This anthology and our entry forms are available in a range of accessible formats. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Lullabies of Distant Traffic Poems by the Foyle Young

Poets of the Year 2022


The Poetry Society is deeply grateful for the funding and commitment of the Foyle Foundation and for the ongoing support of Arts Council England: together they enable the running of the competition and publication of this anthology.

Thank you to 2022’s judges Anthony Anaxagorou and Mona Arshi for the time and passion they put into reading the poems and selecting these winning entries. We also thank the team of poets, artists and supporters who contributed their skills to this year’s Award: Ella Duffy, Sarah Fletcher, Rachel Long, Gazelle Mba, Josh Seigal and Phoebe Stuckes who helped with the judging process; Savannah Brown, the Award Patron; Clare Pollard, Poet Laureate Simon Armitage and former Foyle Young Poets Mukahang Limbu and Phoebe Stuckes for performing at the Award ceremony; James Brown for designing our artwork; Chris Riddell for his illustrations of the Top 15 winners; Arvon Foundation for hosting the Foyle Young Poets’ residentials; Cecilia Knapp for co-tutoring this year’s course; 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. Thank you also to Carcanet, Forward Arts Foundation, ignitionpress, Picador, Poems on the Underground and tall-lighthouse for providing winners’ prizes. Finally, we applaud the enthusiasm and dedication of the young people and teachers who make the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award the great success it is today.

In 2023, we welcome Jonathan Edwards and Jane Yeh as our Award judges, and look forward to finding new voices and encouraging a new community of young people into poetry with them.

7 Contents Acknowledgements 5 Introduction 10 Foyle Young Poets 12 Ainah Rashid Worldly Expectations 13 Alexander Newman Sonnet 13: A Sonnet for South Sudan 14 Alex Dunton Boy on the Bus 15 Alice Robson Love is Not Forever 16 Amelia Home 17 Amélie Friess Coming Home to Mama 18 Amy Wang picket fence picnic 19 Ana Thompson March Sickness 20 Angad Thethi batavian tears 21 Anika Kolliboina Día de Muertos 22 Anna Feng A Liminal Space 23 Anna Yang Ghazal for Grandma in April 24 Aryan Grover A Tour Guide Walks Us Through an Exhibition of Poets 25 Ashley Wang Bedside Confessional for a Daughter With No Floorboards 26 Bea Unwin Golden Hour 28 Boudicca Eades The suicide hotline told me to have a bath 29 Conan The Big Round Hill 30 Daisy Blacklock This Is Not a Poem 31 Daphne Harries abnormal reality’s tenant 33 Doroti Polgar Patience, Love (Türelem, Szeretet) 34 Eleanor Gonzales-Poirier ThoughtsWhile Knuckles Cross My Face 37 Elise Withey portrait of a dying man, untitled 38 Elizabeth Yaria de Milo 39 Erin O’Neill Blood Red 40 Evan Copleston Lone Yew 41 Evie Alam CPR 42 Florence Smith Bring Her Flowers 43 Frankie Martins Conscious in Hellfire 44 Freya Lavery Nessie 45 Georgia-mae Tan july’s peonies 46
8 Harsimran Kaur A Graduation Party Like No Other 48 Helena Davis Poetry 49 Isadora Vargas Mafort Something Gentle 50 Ishrat Sattar Lockdown 51 Issi Sharp The Forest Morning 52 Jason Fielding The Beast 53 Jeffrey Yang Harvesting Today: A Golden Shovel 54 Joe Wright Rockpooling 55 Jomiloju Omoyajowo Not Black Enough 56 Josephine Gorbold Grief 58 Katherine Wei Loner’s Duplex 59 Kyo Lee diaspora of beauty 60 Lara Antelo Miles The Little Bug 62 Lauren Lisk of Innocence 63 Leo Kang Beevers Ravenglass 64 Lilla Saiker unattainable like a dream i once had long ago 65 Lily Cheifetz-Fong Moth Bites 66 Lola Forbes-Egan We Are Burning. 67 Lola Henninger His House 68 Lotus Hour Mustafa Sunbathing in the Syrian Countryside With my Grandma 69 Lulu Marken god knows i’m obsessed with your hands and my mouth and the sun 70 Maabena Nti Warm Elegy on Motherhood 71 Maaria Rajput big fish little fish cardboard box 72 Mackenzie Duan murmur 73 Maggie Yang Colors in a New World 74 Maithreyi Bharathi peaches in july 76 Mia Enikö Alexander my second act of defiance 77 Mia Scattergood The Lavender Box 78 Michele Liu Another desiccated fish on the side of the road 79 Mika Trench Procession for a Slow Walker 80 Mimi Yang elegy 81 Nerys Schmetterling Christmas 82 Nicole Banas Sixth Form, Day One. 83 Nina Brown Fading memories 84 Nithya Sangampalayam pluviophile 85 Ocean Teu Crow 86 Ore Iews dysphoria 87
9 Poppy Lamming Bat 88 Olivia Talbot Seas of Teeth 89 Ravneet Kaur i wish for the impossible 90 Rose Bedford Cave 91 Ruben Ferran See-Schierenberg Galvan The Real Monster 92 Sara Rosero girlhood in winter 93 Sarah Fathima Mohammed Triple Sonnet With White Girl 94 Sharon Zhang Improvised monologue on a summer evening, where a girl is holding a gun to my head and I am listing off the reasons I am still in love with her 96 Sinead Farrell The Hydrangeas 97 Skye Bowdon Ghazal for My Girl 98 Sophia Liu American Sonnet for Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Hyeon Jeong Grant, Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park, Yong Ae Yue and Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz 99 Ursula Rowe Pale Blue 100 Vishnusri Priya Mendu The Man in the Dark 101 William Thomas Wanderer 102 Zahra Ghaffar A Muted Modesty 103 Zoe Legge doll-face 104 Zoha Khan An Unwitting Hecatomb 105 Foyle Young Poets of the Year Winners 2022 106 The Poetry Society and The Foyle Foundation 107 What Next for Young Writers? 108 Schools and The Poetry Society 109 Enter the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 110


All of the poems in this anthology were written by young writers aged eleven to seventeen. They are the commended entries to an amazing competition for young poets – the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award – which has been run by The Poetry Society since 2001 with the aim to find, celebrate and support the very best young writers from around the world. We hope you enjoy reading these poems. Maybe you or someone you know should enter next year!

In 2022 we received over 13,500 poems from more than 6,600 young poets from across the nations of the UK and around the world. Writers from 100 countries entered the competition from as far afield as Afghanistan, Namibia, Qatar and Myanmar. The judges, Anthony Anaxagorou and Mona Arshi, had the challenge of selecting 100 winners: the top 15 poets (shared in our winners’ anthology), and the 85 commended poets published here. The competition continues to showcase the best of the world’s young poets, and its scale and global reach demonstrates what a huge achievement it is to be selected as one of our winners.

It has been an inspiring experience for the judges. Mona told us, “It was both a pleasure and a privilege to judge this year’s competition. We were impressed by the sheer variety of approaches as well the diversity of forms employed – we found sestinas and ghazals rubbing alongside prose poems and hybrid inventions. So many of the poems we read woke up the ear and gave us something we hadn’t heard before. Many of the poems we encountered vibrated with wonder, while others employed a slant gaze to arrive at a simple universal, emotional truth.”

Anthony added, “The extraordinary range and breadth of the writing in this year’s Young Poets Award slowed our reading down, asked us to inhabit a pool of poetics and voices, while encouraging us to think about tomorrow’s poetry in fresh and innovative ways. The writing was at once deeply personal, with an acute sensitivity to local and global issues. We encountered poems which drew attention and thinking towards our struggling planet, poems which complicated the identities we inherit and how such burgeoning minds come to navigate the world. There were formal poems about resilience, despair, joy and bewilderment. Poems which knew and poems which didn’t. To witness such an open display of aliveness to the world, to the systems, inequalities and rhythms we live amongst, confirmed the future of poetry as being vibrant, dynamic and restless. Trying to find ‘the best’ poems is obviously an


impossible task, so Mona and I settled instead on trying to draw out the poems which not only spoke to the present moment, but also to the moments that will constitute human life for years to come.”

The winning entries reveal a generation of young poets who aren’t afraid to use their voices to offer kindness, humour and hope. You’ll encounter poets here from across the UK, China and USA, representing the wide age range of the competition. Please note that some of the poems tackle challenging themes and we’ve marked the pages where you may encounter graphic imagery.

We thank the young poets for their fearlessness, the strength of their imaginations and the power of their words. We hope that this anthology will inspire even more young people to write, share their work and enter the competition.


Foyle Young Poets

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is at the core of The Poetry Society’s extensive education programme, and it plays an influential role in shaping contemporary British poetry. Many of the most exciting poets writing today started their writing careers by taking part in this Award. Here are just a few of the former winners we’d like to congratulate for publishing their first pamphlets this year: Helen Bowell for The Barman (Bad Betty), Mukahang Limbu for Mother of Flip Flops (Outspoken Press) and Nadia Lines for Stephen the Phlebotomist (Nine Pens Press). Sarah Fletcher released her third pamphlet with Outspoken Press, and Luke Samuel Yates published The Mystery Shopper with the Poetry Business/Smith|Doorstop.

As just a taste of other recent achievements by our young poets, we congratulate Iona Mandal who was appointed Young Poet Laureate of Birmingham; Daniel Wale who was Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureate; Briancia Mullings, highly commended in the Forward Prize for her Foyle Young Poets’ winning poem ‘Queen’s Speech’; and Holly Hopkins, whose book The English Summer (Penned in the Margins) was shortlisted for the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection in the Forward Prizes.

In 2023, our search begins for the latest cohort of exciting young poets. 100 winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award will receive a range of brilliant prizes, including a year’s youth membership of The Poetry Society and a goody bag stuffed full of books donated by our generous supporters. The Poetry Society continues to support winners throughout their careers, providing publication, performance and development opportunities. The top 15 poets will also be part of a sustained mentoring programme.


Worldly Expectations

Four eyes blinked in unison and locked like magnets, Round beaded stares that seemed angelic; An open eye glare of relatable company Cascading across the depths of a single mirror that delivered The fondness of vulnerability in a world of expected perfection Can simply be pushed by the most destroying emotion. The word, I now know, is jealousy, Which can ruin one’s visual familiarity. How can one cope with a mind full of a continuous circle of blame Which can trigger any moment and can burn an unendurable flame? But those summoning eyes beam a mirage of unnoticed beauty That have resisted unbearable verbal cruelty. The hair, the face, the eyes and the nose Are just a few things people detest but never show.


Sonnet 13: A Sonnet for South Sudan

A dusty plain framed with broken buildings. A dove glides down, searching for a mere scrap, Its soft calls can’t be heard over gunshots fired Under pretence of better things.

I see the bird scarper as they appear, Barely men, holding guns, scanning, watching –I see one child gripping his gun tightly, A scarred boy, one whose voice no one will hear.

I see the boy aim his gun at the sky. A broken body hits the ground: the dove. Its glassy eyes, once full of hope, now lifeless, The boy’s meet the sky where the dove flew.

Above that same dusty plain I see Another dove, branch in beak, flying free.


Boy on the Bus

I’m sitting behind a boy on the bus/My shadow is peeking out from behind him/Like taffeta sleeves of an 80s prom dress/He sits like his shouts would rock through your body/Gallop over your chest, a horse slipping skittish over rib cages/Hooves angrily covered with the smell of my dad’s dad’s dad’s last cigarette/I keep my blood close to my chest and my breath far away from it hitting the back of the boy on the bus’s neck/So some grass can grow/So I can feel like a coward on it/I’m going to knit everything that boy is into a jumper/To cover me all up/I want to tie all the men up into me and wear them all/To finally trust that someone could protect me only when I create them/I will swamp myself into my gum covered seat/Ringing once again.


Love is Not Forever

The door opens. His footsteps ring clear as he enters the room. She smooths her hair, breath quickening, sensing his gloom. She stirs at the pot, grasping the ladle, Rushing to set his place at the table. He cries from the hallway asking for dinner, Then sighs, glaring her way as the brew starts to simmer. She smiles weakly before turning away, Taking comfort in the avoidance of meeting his gaze. They sit down.

A cold silence falls and her lip starts to quiver, She forces a laugh to stop him seeing her wither. So the meal commences and he eats like a pig, He blames and complains while she sits taking the dig. She says that she loves him but she knows that’s not true, She loved the man he once was, but this one… Who knew?


Amelia Home

I know it seems crazy, for people like you, To want something more than what you can do. To us it is golden, a chance not to miss, To live in a world mirroring bliss. Escapism helps us when no one else can. We want something different from where we began. Something to chase all the troubles away: A brand new beginning, a place we can feel safe. It’s hard to explain to someone who’s new Why we all feel the way that we do –We struggle with something or maybe just need A place we are happy without needing to bleed. Stories entrance us, they keep us engaged, Through daydreams of places where love isn’t staged. A perfect scenario, a place we control, Is better for us than the life that you stole. It is our solace, our place to defend And no one knows why we fight to the end. But this is our escape, our place to be free, Where someone will love me for just being me. It may just be fiction, no place we can roam, But these are my family: this is my home.


Coming Home to Mama

Soon, I will choke oil from gullet. I will pick packets from between my teeth, Take takeout prime slogans from my tonsils and Spew them into apathy-seas. I will seep the diesel from my skin, Pick concrete from opinion-riddled pores, And as codes and wants and pixel-pleads bleed from tired veins I will return to her.

I will sink upon a moss-lain arm, Let soil settle into lung, And she will hum that hymn sung to deafened men, Her praise in Skylark’s whistle and the deep sigh of dusk. It will be my dusk.

I will peel into her sleep as magnolia to night, Naked from the psyche outwards, My poisoned skin borne to the heavens

To be soaked in morrow’s mist

I wish for a time when cogs seeped their spin, The hours honey-dripped from tongue –Slowly, slowly, saccharine sweet –And dawn would sink hours into my day. When nucleic new has been clawed from windpipe and slow the synthetic beat of breath, I will sink home to her, Suck nectar from the earth in slumbered harmony, And find myself new in the roots that have known me.


Amy Wang picket fence picnic

Picture this – the fourth of July on a Monday morning, everything lying asleep in the fields. Baba on the barbeque behind the house, the ice cubes sweating quietly in a clear bowl beside him. Mama plucking weeds from the flower bed, empty of bloom, and rustling thin-fingered chives. The lawn unmown. Picket fence, unpainted. So many questions waiting to be pierced. Inside, all the doors have been shut. Red flowers on counter, blue heat breathing gently through the open-screen windows. Thumbprint faces peering down at us from glass-plated photographs, reminiscent of family we haven’t seen in years. Yeye, solemn with his small faiths. Nainai, holding every child in her arms. Terraced fields behind them, no friend to waterside, quiet enough to ask the summer for an ending. Like a study in severed roots, old life breathed into new dirt. There’s a reason only half of us call this place home. There’s a reason the ocean beckons to the shore. In the cooler, ice cream melting on the counter like it knows something we don’t. White enough to hope for.


Ana Thompson March Sickness

The February trees had teeth

Grey banging on bus windows

August fabric still tastes like salt that shivers on goose bumped skin and a sun-red nose

Sun-soaked is a good place to talk and on a bluish evening you’d said I made you happy I laughed into the denim sky then later choked on orange fumes, my own breath

Crack open a window and stop breathing stale thoughts

March fever

Snowdrops die in the snow Decisions decisions


Angad Thethi batavian tears

I listen to the music of your voice on the wind

On my skin tickling my scalp while I laugh

Stimulus and reflex while I tell you about my day

Telling you about your broken eyes and listening to Your breathing, short, fragmented like the skin around your fingernails

Like your bleeding arms and your hollow soul, hard and brittle as Batavian tears but you glow Seraph in the sun

Kintsugi, veins of gold

And you are alive I promise, ghost

Even without a reason alive and breathing, heart beating I can feel it in your chest systole, diastole please don’t go home

Because I prefer your voice over a Walkman and thirteen tapes.


Día de Muertos

Yesterday, the door was closed

I pressed my nose

Against the fogged-up glass of the window I left old photos by the stone

But today, the marigolds grow

By my feet, in the streets, in the field of bones And for a moment

The door opens And your spirit comes home


Anna Feng A Liminal Space

if i wanted my grandmother to read this poem, i would have presented it to her on a plate of sliced mandarin and spared her the white pith. i would have poured her a glass of wulong tea, feverish as the taiwan air, and prayed for it to cauterize her harsher than i would have, or waded through a sea of discarded prose dedicated to her and washed myself out. i would have tried to bail out of a cruel confrontation knowing the reasons a nobler successor would have. settled for a profession that could have prevented her family from muddling like tear soluble ink. if it was nainai’s forgiveness i ached for, i could have accused another girl of daring to write. that way, my grandmother could have enjoyed the words for what they were. but those failures don’t translate easily across cultures, the same way some poems are read but never understood.



Ghazal for Grandma in April

Somebody tells me mosquitos have wailing eyes, their guts crawl down window screens under our eyes.

I ask if Qingming Festival is broadcasted over buzzing radio signals—Na ˇ inai refuses to move her eyes.

Breath tilts from her hands, naked against the chopping board. Is it still spring if Beijing cigarette blows against our eyes?

Bamboo mats cool the torn leather couches, so we deflate under frozen towels like wrapped milk bottles: covered eyes.

I remember gù xiāng, home, as I recite Li Bai stitched into Chinese Poems for Kids! with tired eyes.

Na ˇ inai trails the cascading couplets with crushed pills and sharpened yellow nails and eyes.

Four dangling feet, two sweaty necks, two foreign tongues whining for cold air filtering through her apartment, a room, before steady eyes.

Na ˇ inai’s body trips into a sprawl on burgundy floral carpet, dreams of my comfort under her portrait of eyes.

They belong to the worshiped. One day I will visit her field, a gù xiāng, bringing paper plates that draw streaks from the eye.

To American dumplings and Lipton green tea, mosquitos say “Grace” or “Buddhist chant” and “feast”—avoid our eyes.

Next year, I return to Na ˇ inai again, yet I already imagine the fresh soil between her heart and my eyes


A Tour Guide Walks Us Through an Exhibition of Poets.

First comes the shadow taxidermist, his nails toughing them out of mere appearance, painting their bodies gold, stuffing their heads with jazz: their pores with green pastures.

Then the birdwatcher of the universe, we spot him lying prone on earth’s scalp, eyes glued onto heavy binoculars, each lens as large as the moon –staring into the violent camel of space.

Over here an insane surgeon, plucking language bones from mulberry trees, cosmic beggars who need fixing into anatomical shape – he rearranges them to finality, slogged over as if his body were made from dry cake.

To conclude, we see the weaver of baskets: today, he is weaving with honeysuckle born from a nightingale’s song, sometimes he uses rivers where his solitudes drone on arcane-

Hmn! You all seem quite bored! Well, I understand – people don’t want to be staring at weirdos on a vacation…

I think we’re going to take this off the program soon.


Bedside Confessional for a Daughter With No Floorboards After The Death Bed of Madame Bovary, Before 1889

Yes, I wanted a son. I wanted cold skin, porcelain-plate veins pressed against a pistol’s dark barrels. I wanted a bourgeois reverie, palms bridging against Wednesday waltzes;

the passing of stars marked by gilded masquerades. Yes, I have always known my sin.

For the record, I only surrendered twice. At every sharp embrace, my arms turned to Eiffel steel

beams – bright and collapsible; the same weight as my notion of love. When I first entered the convent I swallowed a compass, steered the blinking arrow toward a singular vision: a marriage to the sick lamb, ring finger nerve

endings tied to the edge of heaven. Under the eye of stained glass, romance peeled towards me as India ink in 1-cent novels. The words crawled as chainmail: every swoon and dramatic monologue

another metal accomplice of gravity. And I was pulled to the ground with a new religion: love is a hurricane of the skies; it roots up the will like a leaf. My love as forest rendezvous, as opera


weepings, as unread letters, as a sharpened steak knife. My love as arsenic in a glass tube; an apparition of jawlines, angled beyond reach.


I am trying to float on my back in the harbour watching the rain scatter under the lamp posts –here one second and gone the next –the drops pass in a flash, like beads sliding across thread or pearls dipping below my neckline. They look oddly like the sun right now (maybe that’s why they glint and gleam so hesitantly) but tonight I will finally shave those damp curls off the nape of my neck, pinch and pull at the roots until they sweep dust off my back.

The stereo has stopped floating: it pumps distorted noise into the sea. My chosen whalesong has been Ricky Montgomery for three hours now. I miss my goddamn lover, man, I really do, but at least the sea is there to curl a comforting hand around mine. If I wished on a million stars for this moment, how could I be anything but grateful for the waves that lick my flesh clean like ripe fruit and the peach from yesterday morning that still fits in my palm? Though saltwater pricks and prunes my fingertips, that’s okay.

My skin is only semi-permeable.


Boudicca Eades

The suicide hotline told me to have a bath so last night I slipped into the slick mouth of the tub, bent my back to the porcelain and found a stomach of rolling mountains before me.

I prodded at the lake pooling in my belly button

and imagined it sustaining a village full of fishermen and women with wild hair, flashing eyes, and appetites like mine.

I imagined the soft line running up my torso as an unkempt pasture where meadow flowers covertly grow.

I imagined my knee above the water as a little island, a single rock in a vast ocean.



The Big Round Hill

The hill was tall and round. It stretched up from the ground. It was rumoured that a pot of gold lay inside but could not be found, despite how hard they tried. After all, it was just a big dirt mound.


Daisy Blacklock This Is Not a Poem

This ain’t no poem. I’m making sure that it don’t rhyme because I dont want it to.

I kinda mispelt a few words cos I wanted to. I kinda messed up my punctuation a lil bit missed a comma here and there messsed up me grammar aswell cos i wanted to.

This is just a few scribbles on a page that no one will ever want to read

except me. cos i wrote it for me. no one else

This is not a poem beacause i dont want it to be one

but what if i did?

And then listened to me re teacher who said each line must rhyme every time cross your t’s and curve your c’s


i mean yes i could turn this mess into a dress cos i wanted to but i want it to be a messy slop i kinda like it i stop this poem only to make a mess of a new one.


Daphne Harries abnormal reality’s tenant

Swallows flock together in groups I can’t recall the name for, but tonight it is a November night. Toothbrushes lay abandoned, wasting away more than my potential. Plaque keeps building and building and building, until milk becomes butter, yellowed and aged.

I throw them in a bin eventually, some ambitions are made to never be fulfilled. A kaleidoscope of emotion hits in the depths of my box-sized bedroom; faces blend into the wallpaper before sticking their necks out. It’s strange; it’s abnormal; it’s an oddity. The building lacks structure and my mind thinks it’s a dream. I am lucid but knocking comes from within my head asking for rent.


Patience, Love (Türelem, Szeretet)

Most people my age don’t understand it when I say that home isn’t a place. That I could travel anywhere and still miss the same smiles and same faces. The faces which welcomed me into the world, who listened to my first words.

They say türelem. It means patience.

They say szeretet. It means love.

My early memories are compiled from unfamiliar words, our moving from home into an unfamiliar world. I sat in the centre of a classroom filled with children and cried, for that was my only language they understood. The teacher picked me up, sat with me outside and began reading an illustrated book.

She read patience, and I didn’t know what it meant, but it felt like türelem.

She read love, and those letters made no sense but they felt like szeretet.

So I whispered szeretlek, which means I love you.


Years of newly familiar words passed, before referendum results interfered with acceptance. I stood in the centre of a playground of children celebrating and cried because I couldn’t comprehend that it wasn’t me they were hating. My best friend preached: “they can go back to where they came from” and I wanted to. I begged my mum to.

She said türelem. It means patience.

She said szeretet. It means love.

Now, I dream of writing songs in my second language, of sharing my early memories through newly familiar combinations of words. I dream the future so deeply that I cannot sleep at night, and not all of my dreams can come before my time. When I ask my dad why,

he says türelem. It means patience.

He says szeretet. It means love.

Most people my age try to understand it when I say that home isn’t a place. They want to travel the world and still miss the same smiles and same faces: the faces which make us feel welcome in the world, who listen to us when we have no words.

They say türelem It means patience.

They say szeretet. It means love.


Wherever I go, someone says otthon. It means home.

Wherever I go, someone says home. It means otthon.

Wherever I go, I say to myself, türelem, szeretet, patience, love.

And I feel otthon. I feel at home. Because I am.


Thoughts While Knuckles Cross My Face

So I find myself wanting a story — You, a woman, amber-cologned with, let’s say, Snakeskin trousers and leather shoes stained and shiny With the dark green of sunblood. A God-loving woman, because This is the South. This is the dirt That carried my mother’s bones for her, until she herself Could take up that heavy task of walking past the end of a fable. In this fine-toothed story, woman, it’s almost evening. You will twist water from your hair — black, blacker with wetness, Cinch your belt — also black — and march forward upon the outside like a spark

Against a whiteout. A window-shopper woman, we will meet at a storefront. You will say the word I cannot say with a look in your eyes, and I will follow you home, place your God-weary feet across my lap, Legs tangled as the honeysuckle vines that throttle sweetness into life. Let’s say that you will cradle me like a cigarette — uselessly, and then snubbed Into your elbow, or the dip marooning ear from jaw. We will get married. Ridiculous, I know, in these God-dirtied roads, these serpent-spoken plains, For you, woman, to want to marry someone with hair as cropped as mine, With a heart as stopped as mine. Yet there will be an ending, a luxury our kind Have seldom hoped to afford. Yes — the light-logged sunset will curtain-close, Will chatter away like the scab off of a weeklong, yearlong, lifelong cut. God bless us now, us lesbians, us lesbians.


Elise Withey

portrait of a dying man, untitled

there is a body in the armour. clay sky, eyes wide open. there is always a body. the body is not yours. these fistfuls of bloodied dirt are not yours. the armour, split like a ripened fruit, is mine. perhaps if I do not open my eyes the face I see there, lying in the red dust could be a stranger’s. give me the body in the armour. let me make it mine.


Elizabeth Yaria de Milo

My body is a temple torn from its pillars, by design it feels weathered, but not by age or time. There is a difference in the way a child plays in the sand: with creases and crinkles, with a body that has decided, cartwheels are the most effective form of transport this week. Clearly, there is a way to be carefree, without being free of care; see god, without the temple falling down. A string of pearls compacted at the navel of a young Venus; her hand touches temples blessed with before: before living became delicate and dutiful, something to be done after sanding down edges, sharp lines.



Lying on the floor, blood dripping from my outstretched hand

Body don’t fail me

Trying to grip the hilt of the knife with fumbling, blood-stained fingers

Body don’t fail me

Memories begin to assault my senses, a thousand memories forgotten

Body don’t fail me

Tears dripping down my face as my chest heaves, hungry for air, it feels like someone is squeezing my lungs

Body don’t fail me

I feel helpless, lying here, I said I would fight to the end, this wasn’t what I meant, everything goes quiet, as my world comes to a close Body, you failed me

warning: graphic imagery

Lone Yew

There is an irony to dying: your truth may seem, But cannot be, so sprung from dying sounds, sound. They knit, ineluctably, the mind-shapes in a meshwork, Forceful, lurid. The phonemes bind. The referent Draws near. Here, hear the hushed, crushed colloquies Of bracken, brittle under foot fall. Sound

Shall survive me beyond the mind’s end, beyond my Denotation. There stands alone a yew tree in a glade; There blooming, a bird sings in its branches a threnody.



I can already hear the next day, News headlines being formed As my spluttering tongue Phones the paramedics. I watched his frail skeleton collapse Like a crumbling cliffside. 2 breaths, 30 compressions, I press my slackened jaw to his Still-warm lips… and heave. Then I am back at my 10th birthday party Inflating balloons with quivering raspberries. I knit my fingers together and force them into His unnervingly dormant chest. Each bone cracks beneath my hands, Like KitKats in a packed lunch, Feel my throat stopper my voice And my stomach churn like A vat of sycophantic honey. They drag his ragdoll limpness away Yet my arms are still outstretched, Even after the ground is a mere cavity of his life. They tell me I did well, did what I could, But I saw them call the hearse Before they called the ambulance.


Bring Her Flowers

The flowers started arriving a week or two before. Bright peonies; lilies; our vases were always full. I measured how she was by the amount of flowers at the door, the notes and get well soon cards that were scattered on the floor. Maybe everyone thought that the flowers would cushion the fall when she went, but it didn’t cushion me at all. Rose petals everywhere as the bells chimed: lilies, pollen, stalks all a-fly, regret sown in every damned seed, the sweet honeysuckle passing me by. Day in, day out, as more flowers filled our place an expression passed over her, maybe joy or maybe heartache, for the loss of simple things like flowers and the loss of the new day. The selfish grievance for what we’ve lost not the losses of those passed away. I go on, crying into the flowers the regret pouring out from each card, the smell once sweet, turned sour, even though I saw it from afar. My tears poison the petals with salt and each colour fades away because just like us, the flowers go, though where… I just don’t know.


Conscious in Hellfire

broken knuckle branches punch through windpipes making you cough up all those homicidal sunsets that left scorch marks on the clouds

like the matches you’d burn down to your fingertips to have survived this long he says you must be a witch

so you trace curses with blisters dressed in charcoal dinner suits envy the black dust’s elegance long to mimic its impermanence

but all beauty is dishonest and those ashy smears spit echoes of the train tracks on your wrists deadly silver creases burden nature’s timeless silk with age

slicing through a mountain’s arrogance that first Olympic podium if only this would burn alongside you or better yet return the pitchfork

go smother your witch-hunter in flames no longer worship the arsonist as god just because he makes you feel more holy

Content warning: graphic imagery


I went to Scotland with my mother, travelled on the Loch Ness. A white paper boat on a pool of ink.

Staring out at the water there was no reflection but the ripples, folding obsidian to glass.

It’s explainable, the darkness. The richness of peat leaking into water like pollution. Yet looking at the darkness I can understand the creatures hidden beneath.


Georgia-mae Tan july’s peonies

your lips were laced with bergamot and mint when i kissed you along the back wall of the convenience store on henley road

smiling and silently charged smoothly sneaking tins of altoids into the back pocket of your blue jacket nobody will know

i wonder what the price would be to let the fluorescent blue light tear through the bloodstream of sceptics and their milk-bottled stratagems

at 9pm i dance in my bathroom lulling myself into a constant state of seduction fingers that grip my hips to mimic the touch of another i do not need

greeting rain that knocks against the windows the stars now stripped back and naked your fingers circled bronze round my wrist as when you beat the trees down by the darling wye river’s edge


lost girlhood is a schoolboy’s pencil which runs along drawing hearts of red my spine splits into two pomegranate seeds dash the floor burnt under the sun and throbbing

in the quiet night they turn to rubies by 11 and emeralds by 12

skin and earth cracks beneath my toes split the peony heart in late july mellow satin creased against calloused fingers which slips across shoulders

the mulberry tree is bare by november your eyes pink as himalayan salt i am no longer the wide-toothed girl who smelt the sweet allure of the narcissus flower or roamed hand in hand with maenads lulled into a fabricated sleep of your own design tonight i bleed gilded stamps into your stomach red as burning wax seals bite into the victorian plum and let it turn to honeyed juice running down your throat crush the elderflower in the palm of my hand its pollen soft and sticky on my fingertips i look at you now and pity you aren’t you cold outside in the rain dancing alone with my shadow


A Graduation Party Like No Other After Borys Humenyuk

In Mariupol, I went to high school and collected daisies in the palms of my hands, wore long dresses that kept me warm in winter, the nape of my neck patient, and searched my house for dirt.

In Mariupol, I read under the pitter-patter of drunk shells with ashes and smoke on my lips, my plum prom dress ripped from my body, my necklace an abandonment. I clean my weapons.


Helena Davis Poetry

I do not know what poetry is I doubt anybody really does But I do know that we cannot teach machines to make it They have tried and failed So maybe that is it then That when automata take over the running of reality It will be poetry That will distinguish man from machine


Isadora Vargas Mafort Something Gentle

I recognised the sound When I first heard it, profound In all its buzzed glory. A sustained note, dead heartbeat, Still in a boiled mouse. I long to pinch the insides, To pry it out, but it’s soft. A farm’s cricket Drawled out In its constancy.


Stuck in a bubble with nowhere to go, Cars stop moving, People stop passing by. You’re trapped in time.

Imprisoned in a bubble with nowhere to go. You’re either lonely or have the company of people living with you. You slowly get sick and tired of your own family: Your house is your own prison.

Trapped in a glowing rectangle with nowhere to go, You go to work through it, You go to school through it, You see friends and family through it,

Instead of dying because of the infectious disease I will die because of the endless boredom.

When will this end?


The Forest Morning

I was in the forest today and the leaves turned to birds and flew away. There was a hippo in the woods this morning, I sang it good day while it grunted away. Birds tweedled scores into scarves in the forest this morning, they draped it in their wake as though cocooning the forest with tissues to blow its nose.

The hippos quickly shut their scarf-song down with a bellow exuding wrongness similar to an over-oiled engine stuck in a grimace. Then the naked forest let the light in –but there was nothing left to light.


The Beast

A fierce beast looms over me, standing like a tower, Getting larger every hour. I gaze at it and I’m nothing. It gets me sputtering and coughing And it will bring me to my coffin, It makes me feel alone in this world. When I try to resist through the air I’m hurled But then I see a friend’s hand, unfurled, They help me up and treat my wounds. They tell me that friendship is a boon And not to fight it alone like a loon. Together, we flank the creature and I scale its back, Its colour is no longer an intimidating jet black. We plunge our swords into its weak spot… Is it still terrifying? Absolutely not. Everything is scarier when you’re doing it alone, So why don’t you ask a friend to ease your burden? When you’re together, anywhere is your home, Not bringing an ally is simply absurd.


Harvesting Today: A Golden Shovel After Emily Dickinson

In the cornfields where the rootworms gnaw, it’s fire and ice that ring true for our country in all she who dares whisper otherwise will offend I for neither skies that ripen nor barren grounds have lone knives for stabbing and lurching words to kill. Tell me your story, and may God bring swallows that sing triumphantly amid a lost today. Sure, it’s truth that we crave, for these lies, this home, perpetual deceits line our walls and do not summon the words of grandmother, my love. She who aches inside this browning heart, she will sing, sing for us and all the fields and all the meadows wide –away, calls the depraved man who lays beside his wife, a mirage of pilled amnesia sure to hear the song of the barley so engraved in you, the one who rides the horses can count. Many a wheat and many a flower should turn our glittering prosperity into tangibility, I, never biting the tongue of our mother’s feeding, forget. She has yet to bear the fruits of a farmer’s hand, for some lost within the crops of blur, graze your hand upon one. Perhaps on one of these days, the sum could tell if the seeds of a lone citrus fruit could sweeten this acrid mouth, which spits out broken twang and an accent of no descent, break the colors of my faded windows. Close the curtains upon my heart, defeated beneath the cries of a widowed soul and –all the Bees, Which in the Clover dwell.


When we got tired of the waves, We’d walk to the headland

To rockpool, squeaky Crocs scrubbing my ankles Raw with insistent grains, absolved

With a plunge that split and re-tilted the light, Spinning cobwebs of the sand I’d discarded.

My toes picked slicks of seaweed As my neck cricked from crouching,

Poised and intent on dozing clams. Crabs scuttled across the floor,

Avoiding my heavy splooshes, as I Peered and ogled over bright shells

In the honeycomb maze of mirrored troves, Marbling and wobbling the blue.

My love language back then was A gift of a particularly smooth pebble,

Or the alien brush of fingers as we blotted the sun Beneath us, hunched over the pool,

Our salty hair intertwining And breathing in each other’s tremulous air.


Jomiloju Omoyajowo Not Black Enough

Though my skin is darkly coloured, hiding away in a shadowed-filled picture, my own language lies shrouded in mystery. Unearthed, but not dived into. My skin is darker than others but my English is smooth, natural, and yet I am not an Englishman: I was imported, immigrated. At family functions they laugh in their native language, I do not join the conversation –not in my broken Yoruba. I listen instead, laugh along knowing I am of them, but not them.

“Say something in Yorooba,” my white friends ask, I distract them, eat swallow at home but bring sandwiches to school. I have a culture but it is not my culture. I will wear the dressing, kneel in the early hours when telling my parents

“good morning.”

I will eat my jollof, my egusi, I will hope to find dodo gizzard in my aunt’s kitchen.

I’ll call everyone Auntie or Uncle to try and claim a culture I don’t fully understand. When I tell my friends


I was born in Nigeria they laugh, asking how it can be possible: “Look how you turned out.” I argue over whether I’m first or second gen and play white to strangers so that they see a calm black girl, a submissive black girl, someone who will listen. I don’t want to listen. I want to be the black I am not. Not the black of my skin but the black in my heart, my soul. Yet, I am not black enough.


Josephine Gorbold Grief

Darkness, Shrinking, Heavy breathing, Eyes are filling, Eyes are spilling, Thinking, Hurting, Screaming, Hurting, Hurting, Shrieking, Screaming, Thinking, Filling, Can’t think, Can’t go on, Thoughts sticking, Vision blurring, Face sticky, Scratching, Goring, Empty, Hurting, Hurting, Hurting, Screaming, Bleeding, Dying, Grieving.


Katherine Wei

Loner’s Duplex After Jericho Brown

I want to be the sun, shining alone. Why else would I fire all my best friends?

What else could fire do to my best friends, who all burn at 451 degrees?

Burning up at 45 First Street, I fight a fever while reading about flight.

Feverishly well-read on fight or flight, I, for some reason, still choose the latter.

The letter I sent still seems reasonable to me, but I don’t read between the lines enough.

The skyline falls between just enough space for a billion stars to glow together.

A billion stars glow together in space. I am the sun, shining and alone.



diaspora of beauty

i wonder if a dandelion ever feel lonely. the first thing a seed knows outside of its mother is wind & breath & foreign land i wonder if a dandelion thinks about home, remembers being rooted to its mother’s heart. my mother calls dandelions weeds

but i call them flowers because they resemble us so much: a diaspora of beauty trying to bloom. i try to remember all the seeds that died on the way rendered invisible in the sewers drowning: why do we hate those that can grow without us?

dandelions grow out of cement & i grow out of cement

we are still beautiful.

we do not know where we come from but we made this our home


we keep growing vivid & yellow & smiling creating a place for ourselves on this soil. i wonder if my mother used to think dandelions were flowers when she was a girl before she realised she will always be a weed.

i wonder if i will consider myself weed if i am told of it enough

will i no longer feel beautiful?

i hope i will never stop thanking dandelions for growing.


The Little Bug

Mother Nature borne from to a tiny bug

In shades of yellow and black.

Ancient fickle things which balance Between six skinny legs –

The wispy breath of creation;

Standing firm to the tests of time and bared –

Spindly paw to paw through the billion generations past

By each humble little pollinator.

Those same allies strain under humanity’s rule, Bringing poisons and pests and poaching land.

Millennia of tranquillity unravel like a taut-tied string

Under a blink of history;

As we bite the hand that nurtured our tyrannical species

Who in each blessed bloom and branch

Bring life-giving oxygen to near every creature?

Who become food for some but with devoted work feed many more?

And who, without, would wither and die with us in tow?

Humanity’s self-fulfilled prophecy.

And as yet another from the endangered 40% of those same crucial species go extinct

Or another reserving meadow is lost

Lest we forget the vitality of The little bug

Who is a colossus of power.


Lauren Lisk of Innocence a tanka girls taste a moth in their mouth swallow wings / shrivel inside girls are taught not to fly so they jump off the rooftops into a husband’s arms


Leo Kang Beevers


Oil spill, sea muscle, my misbegotten rainbows. All’s fled. All’s flaring its individual names. But. To be felt. To samphire, sea aster, chicory. To be shored up. Against. Foxglove, on the mountaintop. The sky burns yellow, like seeds changing hands. A single translucent vein separates the made from the unmade. This wanting, which is weather. This tonguing for air. Why sway, foxglove, why sever? What sunlight could we survive?


unattainable like a dream i once had long ago

even when the water was in my mouth you did not let go and as all the air left my body your fingers were in my mouth like a hook and resting so gently on my ribs

i did not notice when water splintered them broken bones a body in bits and my muscles floated past my open eyes


writhing like the fish before my mama cut its neck at christmas 2012 and my heart was still beating beating beating like a sort of hunger unfulfilled

i want it says

cherry red and oh so alive and only then did i scream but it was silent and blue (but i was the fish)

i saw the face of my mother then god in the water

i want to go home

i want you to leave my window open

i want a lot of things

the face staring back is only my own

i am so hungry


Lily Cheifetz-Fong

Moth Bites

Sometimes, I open my wardrobe and I see the clothes hanging: speckled with moth holes like craters on the surface of the moon. I never see the moths. They arrive and kiss the fabric threadbare, wear it to pieces with love bites. They feed on the patterns and textures, tenderly peck away at the linens, cottons, even shoelaces are tended to, embellished with tiny openings. If I look closely, I fall between the threads and undone stitches that unravel to leave a space inside of me. Having long since given up the desire to contain the decay I learn to inhabit this emptiness which I try not to accept as a symptom of their love. In this relationship

the moths grow large as the clothes shrink, just as the moon swells when darkness subsides. Soon there will be little left for the moths to eat; they’ll hungrily consume the very substance of their survival. Looking at this fading world

I still cannot bring myself to lay moth balls or move my clothes –closure seems too difficult when the wardrobe door refuses to shut.


Lola Forbes-Egan We Are Burning.

We spend our days wishing away the things we now have Exhaling away the things that we bought That phone we begged for And the career we now mourn

We lust for the feeling of wishing and wanting So much we despise the sweet delicacies we once fawned over Wishing we had a glimpse of the other side

But now we’re consumed by it

Saturated in the thick glow of the items we dreamed over But now we are drowning

Drowning in all the weighted luxuries we were promised They pull us down to the ground

Paralysing us with their false promises

We are trapped

Lying down and completely drowned by this weighted cloud

It burns our skin with its acid tearing away our fleshy desires Until all that’s left are our meagre bones And still we beg for more.


His House

After Warsan Shire

If my grandpa’s mind was a house on fire, he was also a firefighter scrambling to dampen the blaze. My grandpa, the fearful fireman, trying to disguise the flames, unprotected from the heat in a threadbare Nomex suit. My grandpa, with fearful fading eyes, watching the living room turn to ash, the picture frames singe, the curtains turn black. My grandpa with wrinkles of soot, hunting for the fire extinguisher. My grandpa clawing at the greying wallpaper, trying to uncurl the edges and reassemble the pattern from ashes. My grandpa, who lost the hallways to smothering smoke, is crying out to Laurel Ann. He is watching bright blue flames engulf his hometown and the faces of his mother and daughters. When the embers die and the smog dissipates into the quiet sky, you may see the remnants of my grandpa’s mind. It floats over a boy holding Mabel’s hand, walking through towering grass, undarkened by fire.


Lotus Hour Mustafa

Sunbathing in the Syrian Countryside With my Grandma

We share the limited space on the embroidered straw mat. Its bumps imprint onto my sweaty thighs. Her thighs are hidden under layers and layers of beaded shirsh.

A gentle breeze passes by to revive us. It brushes through my exposed hair. Her hair stays still under layers and layers of beaded veil.

The sun sends sizzling waves of heat over us. Sweat covers my forehead. No sweat is under the layers and layers of beaded shirsh.

I run out of saliva, breathe in the suffocating smell of sheep manure but her face tattoos protect her, and she continues singing an old song.

She sings about fig fields and desert sands, date juice and rich lands, olive trees and wrinkled hands and other things I don’t understand.

She gets up and beckons me. We walk through the loquat fields but I’m behind no matter how fast I walk and I wonder, how long would it take me to catch up with her?


god knows i’m obsessed with your hands and my mouth and the sun

Those days of sour

stringing taste buds together with barbed lemony rays, gustatory cells roped into bunches of spring flowers speared at the stems –daffodils.

The stinging bitter sun, a grudgelike florist in its vindictive targeting of my desiccated tongue, drought splitting my lips into spears of coconut. Your palms fanning bladed 4pm light away, your nails grapelike in greenish transparency, your jagged cuticles making syrup of gibberellic evenings, your fingers wading through acidic sunshine, trapping errant light rays and slicing the air.

And me. My lips. Asking Take me instead.


Warm Elegy on Motherhood

Your mother delivered you in the Dzodze community hospital On a cool harmattan midnight.

Sweat & mosquitoes. Drawn blood. Blood drawn.

Stomach sliced open like a pomegranate. Your middle name Edem means “taken from”.

Sliced open, taken from, Then a shrill infant crying.

Mother with child.

What comes after;

Your mother sitting on a mattress, holding infant-you in her arms. Both of you shivering. Starving on air because your father (before he found God) worshipped alcohol and spent all money on drink. This is about suffering, you knew that, But this is also about comfort: Finding warmth in your mother’s arms.


big fish little fish cardboard box

she called suddenly one day, as late summer crumbled away, the last rusk in the biscuit tin. i’m outside, and sure enough the meaty grind of the moped exactly echoed the dirty, dimpling red of the brute. i felt the tyres screech in my stomach, the molten heat mauling my chest, rouging my cheeks, the sun-flecked and lacy shadows skimming the street were not even enough to cajole me into spontaneity. that was my last chance that summer, and in the mandarin semi-darkness the sky looked ecstatic; puckered pink and rich Ophelia purple like the bathtub after my sister dyed her shirt. incense bloomed up towards a warm blond moon; i cupped him with both palms and he brimmed over with ink – the moon is a writer, the way his words wax and wane is truly wonderful. tinfoil stars spin cloud into gold. listen. i’ve lived in all the houses i’ve ever seen. i’ve read every single magazine. i speak in tongues. i’m garish and overly passionate, a rather crude and gormless shape with a slightly acidic aftertaste. when sunlight twisted white and gold about the sequoia tree i wrote it down and it’s in my notebook even now… next stop st. swithins square. don’t be weird get off the bouncy castle, put the coconut shell down! the minute i fall asleep i wake up. i get dressed, i have breakfast in the movie theatre: a singular, drunken fly. i think about what would have happened that summer if i’d still be in the kitchen with my mother, unpicking a garlic cluster’s milky aorta, unravelling an onion, each cuticle curling. anyone else for st. swithins square?


in a recent dream your father hurled chairs as you ran through the front door. it comes back now: the heavy tongue, the imagined ache. how easy it is to settle down in disaster, you bystander of ruin. you surrender fiction to the mute fact of it: the fact of dawn, of worms pinking on the wet asphalt. here, you confuse yourself with catastrophe, low and soft as stale eyes, as headaches and the return of a colossal, constant goodbye. in another dream you can’t get your mother to stop crying. here. you ask her to write down all her names on a napkin. one more line on a little list, one more paper scrap of day (you yield to the playground, the monkey bars like rotten ribs). fly, you say, and she does, she does, she does. here: earth shuddering at its fault lines, these clasped hands. here, the atom bomb reverses. you learn debris, how a sky unmelts, how the names of green take root. here, have this fiction; have this one goodbye, have me hear you say goodbye. Content

domesticwarning: violenceabuse/


Colors in a New World I

You tell me to pluck white hairs from your head, and I do.

My fingers pinch the color into dust as your wrinkled eyes swallow lanterns, submitting to the rust of light.


English rumbles // your words // into // fragmented // syllables // you ask if you look fine // bundled // in your I ♥ NYC hoodie // over your 旗袍 // scoured // with Mao’s eyes // and haphazard stitches // the land’s green hands // spoon yes // page by page // into my mouth // a // decayed // lily // I grovel at the hems // of her stride.


In this land, red isn’t red and white isn’t the white you know from home. Nor is the yellow the yellow mirrored in a sidewalk’s piss.

You point to billboards in Chinatown of decayed moth wings fluttering to their funerals. They float, the underbellies of fish ripe with dull silver.


No suns rose as Ellis Island came into view, but the smog of the sea gnarled a finger, pointing where yellow should be.

Your colors drained into the landscape. A white swan butchered amidst silver fish is red, is gone. Only a feather to pocket in the naked ocean.

Translations: 旗袍 means qipao, a traditional Chinese dress



peaches in july

july means ninety-one degrees & peaches snatched at the stem in the supermarket, promise of summer vapour. we long for milk beading on bottles like drops of sun & powdered snow. in aisle two lingering orbs: peaches the same gold as our sun-borne flesh the future, ripening like we browned, by the same rays that were raised to be beautiful – us.

in july we tie our hair & sort peaches: yearn with the youth of a whole fruit blossoming red before being bruised picked, damaged unmade by palms & rosy knuckles: we learn how to be round as a seed to be sweet, juicy darlings, & never mushy. nine dollar tennis skirts crisp & white, we waver in the heat, know to have spots is to be less than a girl.

Note: This poem can be read vertically and horizontally.


my second act of defiance

was smoking a broken cigarette pawned from a drunk stranger in front of the church. i used to go to services with my jewish father after he found me bleeding out in a bathtub; he decided i needed some morals whacked into me. the stranger offered me a flame from his piss-soaked pocket –he liked me because i was young, i liked him because i thought he was as much god as that priest. when i used his lighter he said let there be light.

Content warning: self-harm/suicide


Mia Scattergood The Lavender Box

We sit within each other again. I curl into his corners, I do not fit

In him, he does not fit in me. I fragment into pieces of endurance. On the good days I am content with our contempt: this is all that we are able to have.

On the bad days I wonder, perhaps it is what we deserve.

The next day we wear each other’s skin for a while and want what the other doesn’t,

a pair of people at the ends of each other.

Months ago, it was the first time we tasted our own sickness in each other’s mouths where we were tied with silver ropes.

They called it a wedding.


Another desiccated fish on the side of the road

The day I turn useless is the day I die. Curse the heatwaves for my immobility; My body heavy, my tail fossilised on concrete. Asphalt imprinted on my fins like I were stained and mascara-streaked. If only I had the willpower to cough up tears, to cough up rivers, rain, anything but salt and stone. That time I burrowed into myself to avoid the glare of the sun, when my eyes melted into bullet holes so hollow it was sinister, when dust carpeted me like a nest of flies. In her delirium, Briar Rose, immovable, drowns in her bed: she is asphyxiated by the down of her pillow, smothered until she flushes with the ugliness of a rafflesia –its rot thicker than velvet, furled around her neck, her skull, her limbs, her lungs. Buds bursting from their chambers until they are scabbed, sickly. Someday the vines will grow so thick the windows turn impenetrable, shadows seeping into the cracks of cobbled walls. When my bones were a labyrinth, when ghosts circled in and out, deranged, like I had nothing left to give.


Procession for a Slow Walker

Later, they will sing for the lone traveller, picking up the same bag each morning. Sing a song for him, his greying hair and his lonely teeth. He hums a hymn into the horizon as he walks away from the night. No one sings for the traveller singing to himself. He has the corners grated off him and his fingers trace an empty ring smooth. There should be a song for the here and now travellers, waiting-praying-walking. No more songs about memory and noise. Who writes the songs for the old traveller? He only whistles now, through the gaps in his teeth. He whistles cool air, because he cannot sing, and he sounds like the wind in May. He stands in the phone box with empty hands bared and his top button done.


I have promised to stop thinking about what happens when I die, what willow trees will burst out of the undulating hills, already dead.

Lately, I no longer want to know the lineage of this body, its cruel names, its lonely machine, its country filled with unburied dead,

but on our first flight across the sea, I am still told I must remember — bloodshot casings, heads of missiles, dug up under heaps of the dead.

Here: my first memory from the mountains: a spider crushed by my father’s thumb, body folding into this once-claimed land, an empire made dead.

Don’t you know a river can be pulled apart by bullets? This buffer between tradition and blood, where fish rush to swallow war dead.

My father calling this earth home, knowing it is not — that is how I learn the sanctity of not asking a migrant creature if he is dead.

When I was first brought to the rolling hills blanketed in tombs, I was eating a tangerine. I left it, half-eaten on a grave, a feast for the dead.

I was taught that in the underworld, the food helps them forget the sorrow of colony and war, the unmovable chasm that keeps them dead.

I can’t forget, can I? Not here, this coast ebbing memory to my door, where all promises thin out. Not here, this slaughtered history refusing to stay dead.

Below ground, my grandfather’s father says my name like a prayer against the kiss of a gun. As if all his life he had been waiting to tell me — you are not dead.


Nerys Schmetterling Christmas

Blot out the arc of golden sky, catch glimpses of overdressed men creasing her lapis-lazuli ballroom gown, reducing it to crumpled receipts and overdue bills. Evict Mary Christ from her moth-eaten apartment, photograph Jesus sucking feverishly at the uncut nipple amidst the media frenzy. Pornograph his naked mother onto a litmus paper mantel crust.

Oh! Rocking lighthouse, unstable as the white cliffs of Dover, you mark the fine line between staying and going.

Oh! Refugees on life rafts, unstable as the white cliffs of Dover, you mark the fine line between living and dying.

Spy on the defenceless defending. Give it all back to the heartbroken mother of an unborn son twisting the unfamiliarity of the squirming underbelly into warped sextets.

Flutter away into whimsy my scarleteen butterfly.


Sixth Form, Day One.

Compare my snake-skin, heeled shoes on our floors To your scuffs and laces That trailed down these same corridors, Ribbons that stretched with time. A still screenshot of you, Fresh,

Me, with the eyes scratched out, the knees scabbed over. We wear different colours now, separated into new tribes. I hope your patterns stay ever bold and ugly While my black and navy push me forward Into a future of office suits and pencil skirts. Got to get our legs ready For the run ahead.

I miss yours, The fawn-footed fumbling And the doe eyes, It was like living in a world of headlights. The glare has weakened now, I can see the car

Blaring, beaming down on me ahead. Me, in brace position. You, spread-eagled, starfish.


Nina Brown Fading memories

I stare at their faces

One by one

Photos from years long gone Itsumo oboeteiruyo

I’ll always remember you.

A distant past

Fading memories held together

By a fragile web of photos

Each connected only by thin strings of silk

Doko ni iruno? (どこにいるの?)

Where are you?

For years

Backs turned

Eyes closed

Hands over ears

Dare nano? (誰なの?)

Who are you?


noun; definition –a lover of the rain.

i love the rain. am i a pluviophile? what is it that makes the crystal-like drops falling from the sky comforting? maybe it’s the sound –i’ve never liked the silence. the quiet makes the voices start to talk inside –haunting, louder and louder, the absence of emotion terrifying. or perhaps it’s the beauty that comes from the swirling streaks running like the tears down my face, the liquid drops that can change within a second to become lashing showers hurtling onto my bare skin; sharp and cold. in an odd way it makes me feel less alone and more alive.

the sudden cool upon my cheeks, slowly dripping from my hair –it helps me to forget. the sun can’t do that, nor the wind, the snow or the fog. it is the majestic rain that falls from above, holding the power to heal and erase. i think i am a pluviophile: a lover of the rain, a person who derives joy from it, but not because it’s poetic –rather, i’m a person wanting to feel.


Ocean Teu Crow

In the forest I was a stranger, a ghost of a ghost. I watched from the outside, my shadow dragging behind me like a daughter. I had too many mouths, or maybe too few. I contorted sounds into words, but unearthed no language. I found nothing in the forest. Only my body, emptied of itself. Back then there were always crows circling above me. Their strange noises curdling the sky – almost visible, almost human. Like me, they were shadows. Like me, they were wingless. Know this: I don’t believe in physicality, in the difference between ghost and girl – I was given nothing. Nothing being a synonym for body. Body being a synonym for ghost. In the end, it was a haunting more than it was a girlhood. In the end, I had to become my own language. It was a language with a word for girl but no word for autonomy. It was a language violent enough to have a body of its own.


Ore Iews dysphoria

“boy” glances into mirrors

“boy” dissembles limbs like lego

there is no congruence to be found only corporal dissonance

shapes dissimilar, shaping a faulty vessel, fractured shell

“boy” disowns the body dismembered and disjointed.


Poppy Lamming Bat

Gliding around, moving your wings, Fur flowing softly in the breeze, Spreading far and wide there you hide In your cave, the darkness empowers Not one leaf, not one flower.

Damp dark walls

Hiding your beauty and elegance. Why don’t you glide up high, in the air? And stop bathing in your stealth? Oh small, majestic creature, Why do you fly, yet still hide?


Olivia Talbot

Seas of Teeth

You sit in the seas of the teeth that bite you

They eat more at night when your mind wanders in the dark

You find yourself lost in embarrassing moments

Everybody you’ve talked to floods your mind with sad moments

The friends who’ve left and the ones that chew at your brain

You haunt yourself with memories long forgotten by the ones around you


Ravneet Kaur

i wish for the impossible

Disappointment must be a thing of beauty because they say true beauty lies within and all I see within their eyes is that feeling I despise except maybe the occasional smile not loud enough over the exasperated sighs still I keep up my guise of the unfeeling nerves that send such pulsing pain the rush of blood straight to my brain and I wish I wish I wish to never feel this again.


Rose Bedford Cave

I watched as the creatures entered my open mouth, Marching, inquisitive, journeying further south. As they gazed upon my beauty and touched my protective walls, I saw them take hold of my treasures and I heard their calls. They hammered at my mask, my shield all around, Leaving me exposed, sad, embarrassed, found. Rain fell to the floor passing my weakened walls, Rocks fell to the ground, leaving me breathless, exposing my flaws, One by one they took my courage until I broke down. They left me feeling naked, my raining tears were no crown. After a little while, I tried and tried and tried: I took back my rocks of walls and had a place to hide. I put on a strong, stable structure and said no to breaking, That was exactly how I felt, for a stronger self I was making.


Ruben Ferran See-Schierenberg Galvan The Real Monster

When dawn breaks the day starts with a stutter

The machines start up with the growl of a tiger

Your lust for power has gotten to your head

You ride your steeds of steel

Turning air into diesel smog

The dismal sky has turned to an ashen grey

Chopping down forests is what you do best

Making room for trees of concrete

Destroying the land you put your throne on Only leaving a trail of destruction

Letting your audaciousness follow

You fill the seas with toxic waste

Littering the beaches with grotesque grime

The spotlights blare into the smoky sky

Never looking down at the cruel actions

You still call nature the monster


Sara Rosero girlhood in winter


An anaemic mist engulfs the cliffs, Becoming an epiphany of Truth. The purity of feeling and time Lapses and turns on itself

Lithely over the eminent hills

Like the ocean’s firm foam fondling And eroding the chaste stones, Clear and heavy as Birth, A moment of Truth.


no scarlet smear stains the path behind the pallid veil –

it is not yet spring. the land lays untrodden, the berry hangs.

we must wait for summer when we become like green fallen grapes, ripe, spherical, with soft skins and seeds ready to burst. we must wait.

a memoir might appear, yet soon it will be forgotten.

the portrait will be left to dry and her face will wither, like circles in water.


Triple Sonnet With White Girl

When you turn over my open hand you run my palm along all the places your body surges and calms – smudged inside of your elbow, dip below your waist, soft swelling in your calf. This is called dancing. This is called moving without a hip’s electric jerk –this is called watching the way our bodies tipple desire, its red wine, before we can. You murmur and call it our song. Hold my trembles in your moonbeam pencil arms. There is a softness to this I will never be able to name. I cannot understand the geometries of our hot mouths, open and reddened as dusk, our slick thighs spread

as salve. I cannot own our bodies with my calling, own with only the flag of my tongue the way you can. There is no language that I know to use like my hands. When you turn over my open hand you tell me my own fingers breed a tug in our bellies, my own fingers that have only touched the folds of you, my own fingers warmed under your lip like how they would curl under a cup of chai. I don’t know what it means. Which is to say I don’t know what you and I mean, what our tumbleweed chests are trying to describe when they pounce and do not falter. The only desire I hold – my open hands, turned over, shaped into a prayer


where I hope that tomorrow I will not wake to the choked sound of my mother, who has forgotten how to not cry, my sister hiding under the dinner table after school because we did not have enough for school lunch, home lunch, any lunch – when probed with hands: our bodies diagnosed as cheap. This is the only touch I am familiar with. How will I ever curl my hands around your love, bursting like a cornfield, when even my own country has never loved me. The way we move sounds like the ocean my people drowned in, sounds like the blue of a passport I have never been able to keep.


Improvised monologue on a summer evening, where a girl is holding a gun to my head and I am listing off the reasons I am still in love with her

Talk to me about that time you held a gun. How you’re here, holding a gun, and I am on the wrong side of it. The sky is too big for our eyes to focus on, the trees outside and a piece of glass by the window too curved. Tell me about devastation, when the man falls to his knees, saying “the world still goes on”, and the audience cries; not because he’s lost something, but because he has to explain himself. Notice the cardboard box in the corner like a fitted coffin. That one is for you. Sometimes I draw you inside, pearl arms flung over in a broken necklace. You are scattered across the linoleum floor and then you are everywhere. I can tell you I’m not the metaphor here – Sir, I’m just a person, I promise. I’m just a person, and we are over the wound. Hold tight; sink your teeth in, okay? Aren’t we lucky to be here?


The Hydrangeas

The hydrangeas were blooming when you left me, Their red faces fluttering and dancing in the breeze as the door slammed shut. We had planted them together with loving hands: The red blooms of soft spring represented our partnership. I tended them diligently, but the hydrangeas have long since Turned to dust.

By September their petals had already become ringed with rust And a bleached sun in a cold sky provided no warmth, or security, or hope, So they died –Withered petals decorating the waterlogged earth like flowers over an altar. My feelings for you should have withered too after you left me, Like the hydrangeas I was deprived of warmth, security and hope, but My love for you is like the hydrangeas of old, Still blooming. Just like they were when you left me.


Skye Bowdon

Ghazal for My Girl

dancing in dresses unshaven and god-blessed, girls sitting in blue jeans, cut hair fallen to restless feet, girls

driving until hidden, heater dust, our only witness nowhere, just to lay on her red dotted chest, girls

sticking wrists with sewing needles disinfected by flame ink through the first layer of skin, spare your flesh, girls

a laser reads the track of a CD, puppy love under no moon at all ruffled socks and milky way mary janes, doily dressed, girls

silken blue, buzzed hair, freckled shoulders beauty found in the contours of her back, self-confessed, girls

a car looks out into an empty lot wishing to spend the night, forever the black gate shuts at 9:00pm, headlights on, time closed, girls

pressing lavender between the folds of my stomach, she calls me a creature, moving softly, a kissed, girl


American Sonnet for Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Hyeon Jeong Grant, Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park, Yong Ae Yue and Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz

every mother is pregnant with the thought / that she will protect her daughter from the shadows of the sun / a waterfowl is shot in migration & plummets into the mouth of a man & his red-ringed fingerprint / all I think about is the black hair / the two sons / the dry heat against your inured hands / I move in silence & wonder / how quickly I can fall to my knees / I dig sebum out of my skin & sink into my dirtiness / I promise my mother when she closes her eyes / I will be good like a late sunrise / what is it like to be applauded when there is blood smeared all over your soles / the man drops the dead mallard under purple leaves / he says woman but means wingless bird but all I think about is the white in your fingernails / the white in your scalp / the white in your name like wrapping paper / you say I am here but he hears the heat / I am beginning to think that if I scalpel out my throat & throw it out to the streets / the sky will blend our faces into monochrome / my mother is beginning to question what she did wrong / she tells me that patience trumps blood / but to never look into / the mouth of a man


Ursula Rowe Pale Blue

The morning tide comes rolling in Soft blue tipped with foam Washing my mind clean: Not mourning, but remembering Quietly, thoughtfully, leaving space to listen.

Listen to the gaps between words, The drag of pebbles

Across the throat of the beach As the sea comes back to itself Making me whole again.

What is love without grief?

Togetherness without solitude? Life without death? Nothing but another wave Bringing in the morning tide.


Vishnusri Priya Mendu

The Man in the Dark

His promises were like a blunt pencil And his voice was a scrunched paper. His grin was a crescent moon, And his eyes were faded emeralds, And his words were like a fully filled bottle. His life was a burning candle.


I am a conflicted lodger –I dwell in worlds of empty green, where silent tones of lucid lands are better felt than coldly seen.

The hills roll on in endless muse, ever floating through the gloam, the colours slip the open eye –I would that I were softly home.

peopled pavements take my step in sodden grey and fractured still, the murmur sings of earthly warmth, and I, a wandering heart to fill.


Zahra Ghaffar A Muted Modesty

I feel ever so graceful In my abaya and hijab. Down drapes the darkness, The sea of ebony satin Hiding me away From the dangers of this world. It is strange to me then, That what brings me concealment Brings to me, also, The most attention From the very dangers I hide from.


if i were a doll, all poised and polished in my neat little cardboard box, sat on a shelf, frozen smile and pretty bows on my slippers i would not understand politics or the woes of the world there would be no need for knowledge of words or language or the intimacies and intricacies of love and friendship between one person and another instead, i’d be selected and bought by a doe-eyed youngster and a tired father and i would sip imaginary tea from tiny cups and saucers manhandled by well-meaning children in their chattering play finally relieved of pressure when the children grow and leave me behind and eventually ending up in an attic in a box marked “old toys” what a charmed existence it must be


An Unwitting Hecatomb

You are obsessed with beautiful things

Because how else can you envision the stark silken whispers of two souls

Entwined hopelessly in the aching chains of their own creation

Give name to the soundless thing that flutters beneath your skin

Break through the clouds and fall into a mirror

To you I am immortal, an eternity that you can hold in the middle of your palm

My entire life is what you make of it, there is nothing before, and there will be no after

I am the passing epiphanies that keep you up at night

Blurring the lines of your double-edged caprice

Give me your lump of clay, and I will show you sublimity

I am the match that sparks unanimity

I build bridges with petals paper-thin

I give my prime to adorn your monotony

Or rather, you take it, snatch it like it was always your right

But I’ve learnt not to think like that anymore

It’s not defeat if you refuse to pick a side

Like a child, or a monster, or maybe a bit of both

You claim possession of anything that pleases your eye

Reaching out with greedy fingers and shattering the illusion

With cruel swiftness, as if you are no stranger to this crime

Make me your muse, let me live at least in strokes of paint if not in breath

Grind me to a paste and let my scent scream vainly like a ghost of what once was

Or, better still, bestow me upon a loved one, let me taste the radiance of a final smile, Float in the bittersweet tears of profoundness

And eventually I wither, as my unripe spirit wrestles blindly with consumptive rot

Like a childhood friend I am sweet in the moment, but one can’t live on nostalgia alone

How long until you grow up?

Know that I’ll remember you, sweet murderer

Because, of all the flowers in the field

You picked me



Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2022

Top 15 winners: Camille Gabbert Daniel Liu Eric Pak Freya Madeleine

Patterson . Isaac Meredith . Isabelle Pollard . Jenna Hunt . Liv Goldreich . Martine

Maugüé Oenone Wirth Scarlett Timlett-Sheehan Sienna Mehta Sinéad O’Reilly

Tara Tulshyan . Zahra Rafiq

The Commended poets: Ainah Rashid . Alex Dunton . Alexander Newman .

Alice Robson Amelia Kerr Amélie Friess Amy Wang Ana Thompson Angad

Thethi . Anika Kolliboina . Anna Feng . Anna Yang . Aryan Grover . Ashley Wang .

Bea Unwin . Boudicca Eades . Conan Lam . Daisy Blacklock . Daphne Harries . Doroti

Polgar . Eleanor Gonzales-Poirier . Elise Withey . Elizabeth Yaria . Erin O’Neill . Evan

Copleston . Evie Alam . Florence Smith . Frankie Martins . Freya Lavery . Georgia-mae

Tan . Harsimran Kaur . Helena Davis . Isadora Vargas Mafort . Ishrat Sattar . Issi Sharp

. Jason Fielding . Jeffrey Yang . Joe Wright . Jomiloju Omoyajowo . Josephine Gorbold

. Katherine Wei . Kyo Lee . Lara Antelo Miles . Lauren Lisk . Leo Kang Beevers . Lilla

Saiker . Lily Cheifetz-Fong . Lola Forbes-Egan . Lola Henninger . Lotus Hour Mustafa .

Lulu Marken . Maabena Nti . Maaria Rajput . Mackenzie Duan . Maggie Yang . Maithreyi

Bharathi . Mia Alexander . Mia Scattergood . Michele Liu . Mika Trench . Mimi Yang .

Nerys Stehr . Nicole Banas . Nina Brown .Nithya Sangampalayam . Ocean Teu . Olivia

Talbot . Ore Iews . Poppy Lamming . Ravneet Kaur . Rose Bedford . Ruben Ferran

See-Schierenberg Galvan . Sara Rosero . Sarah Fathima Mohammed . Sharon Zhang

Sinead Farrell . Skye Bowdon . Sophia Liu . Ursula Rowe . Vishnusri Priya Mendu .

William Thomas . Zahra Ghaffar . Zoe Legge . Zoha Khan


The Poetry Society

The Poetry Society is the leading poetry organisation in the UK. For over 100 years we’ve been a lively and passionate source of energy and ideas, opening up and promoting poetry to an ever-growing community of people. We run acclaimed 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, The Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages.

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 enabled the competition to develop and grow to become one of the premier literary awards in the country.

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


What Next for Young Writers?

Young Poets Network is The Poetry Society’s free online platform for young poets worldwide 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 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. Young Poets Network also offers a list of competitions, magazines and writing groups which particularly welcome young writers.

Every year we inspire thousands of young writers worldwide to write new poems. Recent challenges explored love, protest, peace, glass, the work of Sylvia Plath and more. We have also published features about reviewing poetry, starting a zine and the relationship between social class and poetry. Each August, we ask Foyle Young Poets to set and judge new writing challenges – could next year be you?

We offer performance opportunities to Young Poets Network challenge winners and in the last year we have taken young poets to perform at Verve Poetry Festival in Birmingham and at Newcastle Poetry Festival too. We ran online celebration events and free writing workshops for all. We also collaborated with the T.S. Eliot Prize and worked with ten young people to review the shortlisted collections. Sign up to our fortnightly newsletter to keep up-to-date with all the events and opportunities we offer. Follow us on Twitter @youngpoetsnet and Instagram @thepoetrysociety for more.


Schools and The Poetry Society

Foyle Award teaching resources, including lesson plans and online versions of the winning and commended Foyle Young Poets anthologies, are available on our website at

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:

Poets in Schools help develop an understanding of and enthusiasm for poetry across all Key Stages. Whether you are looking for a one-off workshop or a long-term residency, an INSET session for staff or a poet-led assembly, The Poetry Society will find the right poet for you. Online and in-person options available.

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 poet–teacher network, Cloud Chamber. poetrysociety.

Follow us on Twitter @PoetryEducation or sign up to our schools e-bulletin by emailing


Enter the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2023

Judges: Jonathan Edwards & Jane Yeh

Enter your poems – change your life! The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2023 is open to any writer aged 11 to 17 (inclusive) until the closing date of 31 July 2023. The competition is completely free to enter and poems can be on any theme or subject. Prizes include poetry goodies, mentoring, writing courses, publication in a prestigious anthology and much more. Winners also benefit from ongoing support and encouragement from The Poetry Society via publication, performance and work experience opportunities.

How to enter: please read the updated competition rules, published in full at 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. You 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.

Teacher Trailblazers: each year the Award recognizes outstanding poetry teachers. To nominate a teacher or librarian who has made a difference in your school, email fyp@ and tell us what makes them great.

School entries: teachers can enter sets of poems by post or online using our simple submission form. Every school that enters has the chance to win a free classroom visit from a poet.

Want a FREE set of anthologies and posters for your class? Send your name, address and request to


Now YOU can be part of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award

Send us your poems by 31 July 2023 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

For full rules and instructions, visit

“To witness such an open display of aliveness to the world, to the systems, inequalities and rhythms we live amongst, confirmed the future of poetry as being vibrant, dynamic and restless.”

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