Press Release - 6 October 2006

Press release: 2005

Wise heads on young shoulders - Young poets prove age is no barrier to dealing with the darker side of life.

The 15 overall winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2005 prove that articulating some of the more disturbing aspects of life with authenticity and maturity is not the reserve of the more experienced poet.

Whether challenging the apathy of the western world to the plight of starving children: -

"Be blind to the broken birds of the child's  

hands as they reach out pleading to be held,  

the rolling whites of his eyes, the bruised animals  

of his lips, parting, as he takes his last..  


Turn off the television set"  

(from 'How To Watch a Child Die' by Amanda Chong, 16)

or confronting some of the more unpleasant eventualities of growing old: 

"Once I caught you too,  

staring back at yourself in the mirror  

on the landing, drawing your hair in front of your eyes,  

thinking about growing it long, like it was when we met.  

And then we both wondered when it was  

that I stopped being beautiful."

(from 'Catskin' by Laura Marsh, 16)

or looking at being the outsider: -

Stripping me of my dungarees and shirt,  

Of those filthy Wellingtons. You strip me bare,  

And stop, gasp, as you see my red, rural, country heart.  

I'm a country lass in a foul city.

(from 'Country Lass' by Emma Lawrence, 16)

The 15 overall winners showed a sophistication beyond their years and, as the judges of this year's award Colette Bryce and George Szirtes suggested, an understanding of poetry that can only come from prolific reading – heartening news for the future of poetry publishing.

The 15 overall winners were announced as part of the celebrations for this year's National Poetry Day and its theme 'the Future' at Foyle's Bookshop.

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is supported by the Foyle Foundation and administered by the Poetry Society.

These young poets represent an important part of the future for poetry and as such all 15 winners will be celebrated as part of The Poetry Society's National Poetry Day at the IMAX Cinema with Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, BBC Radio 3 poet Ian McMillan, Editor of Carcanet Press Michael Schmidt and Past Foyle Young Poet of the Year Helen Mort.



Notes to editors

  • The 15 winners of the Foyle Young Poets of The Year Award are:-
    • Adam Beaudoin, U.S.A - Toujours
    • Jeneece Bernard, London – Kid Moth
    • Amanda Chong, Singapore – How to Watch a Child Die
    • Charlotte Geater, Suffolk - Gasmask
    • Philip Knox, N Ireland – (untitled)
    • Emma Lawrence, Northampton – Country Lass
    • Alice Malin, Shropshire – Travel-Map
    • Laura Marsh, Bedfordshire - Catskin
    • Emily Middleton, Derbyshire – The Diver
    • Richard Osmond, Herts - Trivia
    • Julia Rampen, Edinburgh - Lift
    • Dora Sharpe-Davison, New Zealand – "under lost/found column"
    • Martha Sprackland, Merseyside - Beach
    • Ella Thompson, Brighton – Finding a Voice
    • Sharon Wang, USA – Fish Eyes 
  • The full text of the winning poems is available on request. Please call 020 7420 9892  
  • Now in its eighth year, the Foyle Young Poets of The Year Award aims to recognise and nurture young talent and act as an inspiration for young writers of the future. The 15 overall winners will receive the top prize of a week at the award-winning writing course at the Arvon Centre, where they will be tutored by the judges of the competition. The winners in the 11-15 age-range will receive a visit to their school from one of the Poetry Society's excellent team of Poets in Schools. For more details visit
  • Previous winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the year award such as Caroline Bird have gone on to be published by leading publisher Carcanet Press. Others have been published in literary magazines, adorn London's underground as part of Young Poets on the Underground series and have gone on to win other poetry awards.
  • To find out more about the Poetry Society visit
  • The Foyle Young Poets Award meets two of the Foyle Foundation's core criteria for support – the Arts and Learning – and in particular encourages creativity and literacy among young people at school. These are key success factors for young people to go through life. The foundation is very keen to work with the Poetry Society to build on what has been achieved so far and to encourage more schools and young poets to become involved with the sceme nationwide.


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