Press Release: 2006

Number one poetry competition for young people open for entries 2006

The Poetry Society and The Foyle Foundation are delighted to announce the launch of the ninth Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2006. This prestigious prize is open to anyone between the ages of 11 and 17 and consistently recognises and rewards some of the brightest future stars of the poetry world.

Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, describes the The Foyle Young Poets Award "as one of the highlights of the literary calendar - as valuable for the encouragement it gives as for the rewards it offers."

Previous winners include some of the best young published poets writing today including Caroline Bird, Martha Sprackland, Helen Mort and Luke Yates. Amongst last year's winners was Jeneece Bernard, the 17 year-old performance poet and Rise 'slam' winner from London.

Prizes include – for the 15-17 year-olds – 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 11-14 range receive a visit to their school from one of the Poetry Society's excellent team of Poets in Schools. The prize attracts entries from all over the world, including Asia and the US and a special commendation will be given to the top entries from outside the U.K.

All winners will be invited to attend a major awards ceremony in London on National Poetry Day (Thursday 5 October). The winning poems will be published in a specially printed anthology. The judges for this year are award-winning poets Kate Clanchy and Paul Farley. Kate Clanchy is the author of two prize-winning collections, Slattern and Samarkand. Her latest book is Newborn, a collection of poems about pregnancy and birth. Paul Farley was Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year in 1999. He received an Arts Council England Writers' Award in 2000 for his new collection of poems, The Ice Age, which was also shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and won the Whitbread Poetry Award in 2003.

The award is made possible by The Foyle Foundation, which distributes grants to charitable organisations in the areas of Learning, Arts and Health. The award is administered by the Poetry Society (www.poetrysociety.org.uk). More information about the award may be found at www.foyleyoungpoets.org.

The Times Educational Supplement are the media partners for The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award.

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Notes to editors:

  • For a copy of the entry form, write to Education, Poetry Society, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX, email [email protected], or visit www.foyleyoungpoets.org.
  • To receive a free copy of the 2005 winners anthology When the Thunder Woke Me send an A5 self addressed envelope to Education, Poetry Society, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX or email [email protected]
  • The Foyle Young Poets Award meets two of the Foyle Foundation's core criteria for support in 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 scheme nationwide.
  • 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. For more information about the award please visit the website at: www.foyleyoungpoets.org

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