Young poets from around the world are invited to take part in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year competition. The deadline for entry is the end of the month, 31 July 2013.
The judge for this year’s competition, acclaimed poet Hannah Lowe has joined forces with Foyle Young Poet 2012 Tallulah Hutson to encourage young people to draw on real-life experience in their writing and take the chance to enter this year.
Any young person writing in English can enter the competition, whether they have been writing for a long time or just started. All they need is a passionate engagement with words. The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2013 is supported by the Foyle Foundation, is free to enter, and more details can be found on the dedicated website at www.foyleyoungpoets.org
Last year’s Foyle Young Poets competition attracted entries from a staggering 7,351 young people aged between 11 – 17 from 60 countries worldwide, making it one of the largest literary competitions for young people in the world. It’s also an indication of the value that young people find in poetry as an outlet for self-expression.
The 2012 winners (15 top winners and 85 commended poets) spanned the globe, from New Zealand to Nigeria and right across the UK.
Tallulah Hutson from north London, now 17-years-old, was one of 15 winners in 2012 with the moving poem ‘The Accident’ which, unbeknown to the judges, also referred to a real-life childhood tragedy when Tallulah’s father was severely injured in a car accident. In the poem 16-year-old Tallulah talked about life before the event – and later visiting him in hospital. The poem is particularly poignant because Tallulah deliberately does not reveal that the accident involved her father, who was in a coma and suffered brain damage.
Similarly, Foyle Young Poets 2013 judge Hannah Lowe’s first collection of poems, Chick, is a moving exploration of the turbulent life and death of her father, a Chinese-black Jamaican migrant who disappeared every night to play cards in London’s old East End to support his family. Whilst separated by a few decades, both poets found inspiration in life experiences and turned them into celebrated pieces of writing.
Hannah Lowe said: “Tallulah’s poem “The Accident” is a moving evocation of childhood memories, both good and bad. Part of its beauty is how it channels sadness through the skillful use of language and image. I would always encourage young writers to “write what they know” and express their feelings and frustrations. We feel this competition can be a positive outlet for them.”
Tallulah Hutson, said: “I was just attempting to record some memories in the poem, but somehow it ended up depicting feelings I can’t otherwise express, although to anyone reading it, it is not immediately obvious who or what it is about. In many respects it is still quite personal. Of course, there are many others who have been through similar experiences and I’d encourage them to use writing as an outlet for expressing feelings that are sometimes hard to communicate.”