12-year-old Ide Crawford named St Pancras International's 2018 poet laureate
Today, St Pancras International announced 12-year-old Ide Crawford as the winner of the 12th Betjeman Poetry Prize. After beating thousands of entrants with her poem, 'The Moors', the prestigious win sees her become the station's fourth 'St Pancras Laureate'.
Held at St Pancras International to mark National Poetry Day (04 October), the celebrity-attended Betjeman Poetry Prize award ceremony saw Ide, who is home schooled in Macclesfield, read her poem aloud beneath the station's famous statue of poet Sir John Betjeman. Her new role as 'St Pancras Laureate' will see her write three further poems for the station throughout the coming year.
Three thousand entries from across the country were whittled down to a shortlist of just seven young hopefuls, who read their work to a crowd of poetry lovers and fellow competitors. The Betjeman Poetry Prize award ceremony saw last year's winner, Amineh Abou Kerech, congratulate Ide on her achievement. Other guests included Penny Mortimer, Nell Dunn, Lauren Child and John Lyons, who gathered to listen to the impressive poetry from some of the country's youngest poets.
Led by John Betjeman's granddaughter (and Prize Director) Imogen Lycett Green and judged by Scottish Makar, Jackie Kay and co-judge, Zaffar Kunial, the annual Betjeman Poetry Prize attracts entries from talented 10-13-year olds across the UK - all competing to impress the judges with their poetry writing skills.
Wendy Spinks, Commercial Director at HS1 Ltd. (owners of St Pancras International), commented: "Former Poet Laureate, Sir John Betjeman, played a pivotal role in saving the station from demolition in the 1960s, so it is fitting that we mark our gratitude by hosting and celebrating new poetic talent through the annual Betjeman Poetry Prize. This is an especially exciting year to welcome Ide as the station's fourth 'St Pancras Laureate', as we celebrate the station's 150th anniversary."