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The Christopher Tower Poetry Prize 2014 | 07-May-14

First prize for The Christopher Tower Poetry Prize went to Dominic Hand this year. The winner of the second prize is Sam Buckton, and the third prizewinner is Masha Voyles.

Publicity material for this event says:

This year, the 14th Christopher Tower Poetry Prize competition attracted hundreds of entries from budding young poets from all across the UK. The theme was 'News' which generated a wide range of creative responses. The competition was launched on National Poetry Day last October. The 630 entrants (all born between 1995 and 1998) represented 345 schools, many schools entering the competition for the first time in 2014.

At a lunchtime reception in Christ Church, Oxford on Thursday 24 April, eighteen year-old Dominic Hand, Magdalen College School, Oxford, was awarded the £3,000 first prize for his poem 'Annunciation'.  The judges were the poets, Olivia McCannon, Kei Miller and Peter McDonald.

The winner of the second (£1,000) prize is Sam Buckton, from Rudolf Steiner School, Hertfordshire with 'Hell-of-an Island' and the third prizewinner (£500) is Masha Voyles (Charterhouse, Surrey) with 'Bat Child Found!'. Their schools receive £150 each.

The other short-listed winners, who each received £250 were: Alexander Shaw (King's Priory School, Tyne and Wear), Charlie Holmes (George Heriot's School, Edinburgh), Jessica Matthews (Coleg Gwent Crosskeys Campus), and Phoebe Stuckes (West Somerset College). Phoebe Stuckes, as well as Dominic Hand, were two of the Foyle Young Poets winners 2013 and also longlisted in the 2013 Christopher Tower Poetry competition.

Olivia McCannon said, at the prizegiving: 'It was a pleasure to read so many inventive submissions approaching the theme in different ways: engaging with current affairs and historical events, playing on the language of headlines and captions, or exploring the point at which information becomes news. Congratulations to the three finalists and four commended entrants, and to everyone who made the long list. I'm sure the awards will encourage all those who entered - and who are yet to enter - to keep reading, writing and enjoying poetry.'

Now in its fourteenth year, the Christopher Tower poetry competition is one of the most prestigious poetry competitions in the UK, with a reputation for discovering fresh and exciting poetry talent. Previous prizewinners such as Caroline Bird, Helen Mort, Richard O'Brien, Charlotte Runcie, Anna Lewis and Annie Katchinska are now gaining further acclaim in other competitions or within the publishing/ writing world. The competition is just one of the initiatives developed by Tower Poetry at Christ Church to encourage the writing and reading of poetry by young adults. Other projects include summer schools (to which all winners are invited as part of their prize), poetry readings, conferences, an ongoing publication programme and website, which is used as an educational resource in schools.

You can see the winning entries for yourself on the Tower Poetry website where our talented young authors read their own poems (, and further information on the competition and other Tower projects from or on 01865 286591.

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