10 May 2021
Posted by Tabby Hayward
This week, we were looking at the Foyles Young Poets of the Year Competition - the biggest poetry competition for young people in the world! We listened to the judges' introductory video and what they were looking for - the most important thing seemed to be being yourself and writing the poem only you could write. With this in mind, we noted down something that is important to us, something which had happened to us over the past year which had made a big impact, and something which only we know/a particular way in which we see the world. Next, the young writers each chose one of these to use as a starting point for a 5 minute free write. After the free write, we discussed what had gone well/how we had found it/any surprises, before underlining/picking out any words/phrases/lines/images from the free write which we felt might have potential for a poem.
We then looked at the anthology of winning poems from last year (taking a moment to celebrate two of our young writers, Elsie and Eve, who are listed in the commended list from last year!), exploring the range of forms, structures, shapes, layouts and styles - everything from prose poems to sonnets, poems written as receipts to list poems, rhyming poems and free verse, short poems and long poems, poems about love, friendship, race, exam results, grandmothers, place and history. Feeling inspired, the young writers set to work, thinking about a form and structure for their own poems, and getting writing! There were some amazing pieces shared, even at this early stage, with a lot of potential... We can't wait to continue working towards the Foyles competition, and hope all our young writers will enter - there's nothing to lose!