In today’s poetry round up, we look at the talented young poet who is a winner of the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award. We also have an interesting survey that asked young people to name their favourite poet.
16-Year-Old Named One of the 15 Best Young Poets Worldwide
Mathilda Armiger, a 16-year-old from Norwich, has been named as one of this year’s Foyle Young Poets of the Year. This year’s competition was a tough one, with over 11,000 poems received from almost 6000 competitors all over the world.
The competition organisers received entries from the UK and from countries like Cambodia, Uruguay, Botswana and Armenia.
The Foyle Young Poet of the Year award is organised by the Foyle Foundation and The Poetry Society. It is one of the biggest worldwide literacy competitions there is and has been responsible for launching countless young poets into the limelight. This year marks its 20th anniversary.
Mathilda is no stranger to the Foyle Young Poets Award – as last year she was a commended winner. Her winning poem this year was “Lobster Shift”. She is also member of Engage! A group from the National Centre for Writing which takes place in Norwich. Whilst she doesn’t remember what first made her start writing poetry, her ambition is to one day publish her own book and live in an abandoned lighthouse.
Here we reproduce part of the winning poem:
Sylvia Plath Tops List of Young Peoples Favourite Poet
In a recently published survey from The Poetry Society it has been revealed that Sylvia Plath, the American Poet, is the favourite poet of all time of young people. The survey asked 348 poetry enthusiasts, aged 11-17, from all over the world about their favourite poets. 59% of those who responded live in the UK whilst the remaining 41% were located in countries as far afield as Singapore, Canada, South Africa and the Philippines.
Maya Angelou and William Shakespeare took second and third places. In total, there were a staggering 338 poets mentioned by the young people during the survey. There were also plenty of mentions of Rupi Kaur and a number of other Instagram poets. There were plenty of other very well-known poets in the top 20, including TS Eliot, Robert Frost and Edgar Allan Poe.
Another aspect of the survey noted that young people felt they were not given enough access to a wide variety of poetry at school, and if this were to change they believed that poetry would be more popular amongst their classmates. They also felt time should be set aside during school time for pupils to be able to write for pleasure and that poetry had a very positive impact of mental health. They also said that it represented a really positive way in which people could explore their emotions and share them with others.