2022's top 15 Foyle Young Poets award winners!

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The Poetry Society has announced the top 15 winners and 85 commended poets in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2022.  There were entrants from 100 countries for the competition for poets aged 11-17, with 13,500 poems from 6,600 young people submitted. This year’s judges were Anthony Anaxagorou and  Mona Arshi.  

The top 15 are: Camille Gabbert, 14, London; Liv Goldreich, 17, London; Jenna Hunt, 17, Norfolk; Daniel Liu, 16, Florida, US; Martine Maugüé, 16, London; Sienna Mehta, 16, London; Isaac Meredith, 15, Folkestone; Sinéad O’Reilly, 17, Wexford, Ireland; Eric Pak, 17, Nonthaburi, Thailand; Freya Madeleine Patterson, 12, Bordon, Hampshire; Isabelle Pollard, 14, Sheffield; Zahra Rafiq, 16, London; Scarlett Timlett-Sheehan, 17, Exeter; Tara Tulshyan, 17, London; Oenone Wirth, 17, Sheffield.

Today’s leading poets who were recognised by the Foyle Young Poets of the Year award as teenagers include Sarah Howe, Caroline Bird, Jay Bernard and Helen Mort. The competition is organised by the Poetry Society and supported by the Foyle Foundation.

Judge Antony Anaxagorou said: “The extraordinary range and breadth of the writing in this year’s Foyle Young Poets competition slowed our reading down, asked us to inhabit a pool of poetics and voices, while encouraging us to think about tomorrow’s poetry in fresh and innovative ways. The writing was at once deeply personal, with an acute sensitivity to local  and global issues. We encountered poems that drew attention and thinking towards our struggling planet, poems which complicated the identities we inherit and how such burgeoning minds come to navigate the world. 

"There were formal poems about resilience, despair, joy and bewilderment. Poems which knew and poems which didn’t. To witness such an open display of aliveness to the world, to the systems, inequalities and rhythms we live amongst confirmed the future of poetry as being vibrant, dynamic and restless. Trying to find ‘the best’ poems is obviously an impossible task, so what Mona and myself settled on instead was trying to draw out the poems which could not only speak into the present moment, but into the many moments that constitute human life for years to come.”  

Fellow judge Mona Arshi said: “We were impressed by the sheer variety of approaches as well the diversity of forms employed; we found sestinas and ghazals rubbing alongside  prose poems and hybrid inventions. So many of the poems we read woke up the ear and gave us something we hadn’t heard before. Many poems we encountered vibrated with truth and wonder, and so many poems employed a slant glaze to arrive at a simple universal emotional truth.” 

The top 15 poets are invited to attend a residential writing course at the Arvon centre The Hurst in Shropshire, in February 2023, where they will spend a week receiving mentoring from some of the biggest names in UK poetry, focusing on improving their work and establishing a community of writers. All 100 winners receive a year’s youth membership of the Poetry Society and books donated  by the award’s sponsors. The Poetry Society continues to support winners throughout their careers, providing publication, performance and development opportunities. 

The top 15 poems will be published in a winners’ anthology (also available online) from March 2023. The 85 commended poems will appear in an online anthology. Both anthologies are distributed free to schools, libraries, reading groups and poetry lovers across the UK  and the world. 

The 85 commended poets are: Ainah Rashid, Alex Dunton, Alexander Newman, Alice Robson, Amelia Kerr, Amelie Friess, Amy Wang, Ana Thompson, Angad Thethi, Anika Kolliboina, Anna Feng, Anna Yang, Aryan Grover, Ashley Wang, Bea Unwin, Boudicca Eades, Conan Lam Daisy Blacklock, Daphne Harries Doroti Polgar, Eleanor Gonzales-Poirier, Elise Withey, Elizabeth Yaria, Erin O’Neill, Evan Copleston, Evie Alam, Florence Smith Frankie Martins Freya Lavery, Georgia-Mae Tan, Harsimran Kaur, Helena Davis, Isadora Vargas Mafort, Ishrat Sattar, Issi Sharp, Jason F, Jeffrey Yang Joe Wright Jomiloju Omoyajowo, Josephine Gorbold, Katherine Wei, Kyo Lee, Lara Antelo Miles, Lauren Lisk, Leo Beevers, Lilla Saiker, Lily Cheifetz-Fong, Lola Forbes-Egan, Lola Henninger, Lotus Hour Mustafa, Lulu Marken, Maabena Nti, maaria rajput, Mackenzie Duan, Maggie Yang, Maithreyi, Bharathi, Mia Alexander, Mia Scattergood, Michele Liu, Mika Trench, Mimi Yang, Morouje Sherif, Nerys Stehr, Nicole Banas, Nina Brown, Nithya Sangampalayam, Ocean Teu, Olivia Talbot, Ore Iews, Poppy Lamming, Ravneet Kaur, Rose Bedford, Ruben Ferran See-Schierenberg Galvan, Sara Rosero, Sarah Fathima Mohammed, Sharon Zhang, Sinead Farrell, Skye Bowdon, Sophia Liu, Ursula Rowe, Vishnusri Priya Mendu, William Thomas, Zahra Ghaffar, Zoë Legge and Zoha Khan.


Picture shows 2022's top 15 Foyle Young Poets award winners with 2022 judge Mona Arshi and 2021 judge Clare Pollard 




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