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Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2009 | 12-May-09

Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2009

Are you the young voice of Poetry in the UK?

The Poetry Society is proud to announce the launch of The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2009 and to introduce this year?s judges, top poets Lemn Sissay and Selima Hill. This exciting scheme is the only national poetry prize of its kind that seeks to unearth, promote and support young poetic talent from across the UK.

To enter all you need is to be someone who questions, explores, delights in, or is just simply inspired by the world around you. In a time of change and uncertainty, our young poets are powerfully voicing what many in power are struggling to articulate. Since the launch of the Foyle Young Poets Award 12 years ago, winners have addressed difficult issues such as terrorism, prejudice and violence. Their poems challenge the misperceptions that young voices have nothing to say.

Previous winner of the Foyle Young Poets and Respect Slam, Jay Bernard comments: 'Some of us are excited about the US elections, curious about global warming or worried about increasing levels of violence. In a society where young people are mostly looked down upon, writing is a chance to talk about these things, to use words brilliantly and to find others who want to listen. Take it. Shake things up. The world is ours.'

Those young poets whose work is selected as the most promising will attend a week long residential course at a prestigious Arvon Centre, where they will be tutored by this year's judges, Lemn Sissay and Selima Hill. Those winners under the age of 14 will receive a visit to their school from a professional poet.

Lemn Sissay has this message to spur on any would-be young poets out there:
'Get writing! If you don?t do it now then when will you? I bet some of you write poetry secretly. Why secretly? You use your imagination everyday, even if you think you don?t?Write yourself a dream or a nightmare. Say what you never thought you could say. Write that secret. Write that lyrical poem. Write that funny poem. Write if you've never written a poem before.'

Open to ages: 11 ? 17

Deadline for entries: 31 July 2009

To find out more visit:

To enter request an entry form by writing to
Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award
22 Betterton Street

Or email:

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