Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2009
Open to young people aged 11-17, The Foyle Young Poets of the
Year Award 2009 launches at the Sage Gateshead, 3rd March. Time to
The Poetry Society is proud to announce the launch of The Foyle
Young Poets of the Year Award 2009 and to introduce this year’s
judges, top poets Lemn Sissay and Selima Hill.
This exciting scheme is the only national poetry prize of its
kind that seeks to unearth, promote and support young poetic talent
from across the UK. To enter all you need is to be someone who
questions, explores, delights in, or is just simply inspired by the
world around you.
In a time of change and uncertainty, our young poets are
powerfully voicing what many in power are struggling to articulate.
Since the launch of the Foyle Young Poets Award 12 years ago,
winners have addressed difficult issues such as terrorism,
prejudice and violence. Their poems challenge the misperceptions
that young voices have nothing to say.
Previous winner of the Foyle Young Poets and Respect Slam, Jay
‘Some of us are excited about the US elections, curious about
global warming or worried about increasing levels of violence. In a
society where young people are mostly looked down upon, writing is
a chance to talk about these things, to use words brilliantly and
to find others who want to listen. Take it. Shake things up. The
world is ours.’
Those young poets whose work is selected as the most promising
will attend a week long residential course at a prestigious Arvon
Centre, where they will be tutored by this year’s judges, Lemn
Sissay and Selima Hill. Those winners under the age of 14 will
receive a visit to their school from a professional poet.
Lemn Sissay has this message to spur on any would-be young poets
‘Get writing! If you don’t do it now then when will you? I bet
some of you write poetry secretly. Why secretly? You use your
imagination everyday, even if you think you don’t… Write yourself a
dream or a nightmare. Say what you never thought you could say.
Write that secret. Write that lyrical poem. Write that funny poem.
Write if you’ve never written a poem before.’
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