Press release:

Calling All Budding Young Poets.

Spring is the time for budding young talent to surface and so the Poetry Society and the Foyle Foundation are happy to launch the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2005. The award provides any young poet, between the ages of 11-17, with a wonderful opportunity to cultivate their talent. Now in its eighth year, the popularity of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award crosses continents with entries coming in from Europe, Asia and America as well as all around the UK. The reason behind its far reaching appeal is its reputation to attract, recognise and nurture young talent.

For the top end of the age range (15 -17 years) winners are given the chance to attend a week long residential course at the prestigious Arvon Centre in Lumb Bank where they will be tutored by the judges of the competition. The winners in the 11-15 range will get a visit to their school from one of the Poetry Society's excellent team of Poets in Schools.

All winners will be invited to attend a major prize-giving ceremony at the National Poetry Day's (Thursday 6 October) evening event at the IMAX cinema which will celebrate this year's theme - The Future. The winning poems will be published in a specially printed anthology.

The judges of this year's award are in themselves a winning combination - George Szirtes, winner of the TS Eliot Prize 2004 and Colette Bryce, winner of the National Poetry Competition 2003.

The Poetry Society are also delighted to announce that, thanks to the success and profile of the poetry competition, the Foyle Foundation have agreed to continue to sponsor the competition for a further three years, and the Times Education Supplement will continue as media partner.

Previous winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award have gone on to be published by leading publishers and literary magazines, adorn London's underground as part of Young Poets on the Underground series and gone on to win other poetry awards. In 2004 the winning anthology of poems was selected as the Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice.

-ENDS-

For further information telephone 0207 420 9895 or email [email protected] 

Notes to editors:

  • To find out more and to receive a free copy of the 2004 winners anthology and the air sang send an A5 self addressed envelope to Education, Poetry Society, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX or email [email protected]
  • The Foyle Foundation was formed to implement the terms of the will of the late Christina Foyle. She was the daughter of William Foyle who, with his brother, founded the family owned bookshop Foyles in Charing Cross Road, London, which she continued to manage after her father's death. The Foyle Foundation distributes grants to charitable organisations in the areas of Learning, Arts and Health.
  • The connection between Foyle and support for poets is long-standing. In 1949 William Foyle established the Foyle Prize for Poetry, awarding an annual prize of £250 - the largest prize then offered exclusively to poets. The first judges included Cecil Day Lewis and the first winner was Edwin Muir for 'The Labyrinth'. At the award ceremony William Foyle said, 'For a long time I have always felt that a person who writes poetry should have far more encouragement ... it has always been my life's ambition to award such a prize.'
  • To find out more about the Poetry Society telephone 020 7420 9880 or visit www.poetrysociety.org.uk 

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