A winner of the Members' Poems competition on the theme of 'Light', in the autumn issue of Poetry News, judged by Liane Strauss.

Under Kew Railway Bridge

by Isabel Bermudez

I enter the river-birds’ world, its dark and damp
        graffitied walls, a smell of rot in museum cool
while the Thames’ salty breath dries a cormorant’s wings,

laps at the bridge’s concrete pillars,
        brings word inland of the distant sea,
the life that goes on and on, years without stopping,

day and night, miraculous as a human heart
        pumping time under the bridge. I set my eyes
on a tiny wave, see it through to the other side

before it dissolves; an old childhood game,
        one you’re never sure you’ve won, as
you pit yourself against the current,

try to marshal the flow, to keep a moment as it was  
        beneath the play of light and shadow.

Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award Winners 2015 © Hayley Lee Madden
Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award Winners 2015 © Hayley Lee Madden

Today we are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award. This year we had a massive 12,288 poems from a remarkable 5,846 young poets from sixty-nine countries.

Judges Liz Berry and Michael Symmons Roberts had their work cut out selecting the 100 winners from the quantity and quality of entries. Liz applauded the winning poets for a “liveliness and freshness that captured our attention immediately”, and Michael praised the “quality of risk and surprise.”

The winners were announced at a ceremony at Southbank Centre where the top 15 winners were invited to read their poems to a room packed full of VIP guests, Press, parents and established poets.  These poems will go on to be published in the winners’ anthology.

Top 15 Poets

Riona Millar
Ben Read
Sophia Carney
Gaia-Rose Harper
Magnus Dixon
Kajol Marathe
Ian Macartney
Maud Mullan
Allie Spensley
Eira Murphy
Jack Sagar
Sophia Tait
Ella Standage
Jonathan Stone


85 Commended Poets

Will Adams, Rebecca Alifimoff, Isla Anderson, Natasha Blinder, Daniel Blokh, Aisha Mango Borja, Fóla J. Brady, Eva Brand Whitehead, Georgie Brooke, Priya Bryant, Jasmine Burgess, Jenny Burville-Riley, MikaelaCarmichael, Autumn Carson, Freya Carter, Damayanti Chatterjee, Michelle Chen, Misbah Choudhry, Shamma Dalal, Catherine Dent, Leila  Dickinson, Sala Fadelallah, Annie Fan, Gianni Fortes, Ava Goga, Tom Gonzalez-Carvajal, Alex Greenberg, Lorcan Greene, Molly Groarke, Katherine Hampshire, Kathryn Hargett, Hal Henderson, Katharina Högler, Eli Hong, Patrick Hughes, Finty Hunter, Yasmin Inkersole, Satta Kamara, Ruby Kelman, Amelia Kendall, Inara Lalani, Alannah Lewis, Hannah Link, Alice Long, Kavae Loseby, Annalise Lozier, Lauren Maltas, Hermione Marshall, Jacob Mason-White, Gazelle Mba, Marina McCready, Miles McInerney, Abby Meyer, Ruby Morvan, Mia Nelson, Zinath Oloko, Pratiksha Saha, Claire Seymour, Shakthi Shrima, Chloe Smith, Colette Spaul, Audrey Spensley, Reem Sultan, Charis Taplin, Andrew Telford, Abigail Thomson, Amber Thornton, Caroline Tsai, Finn Scarr de Haas van Dorsser, Ben Vince, Imogen Wade, Lucy Wainger, Tilly Wainwright, Molly Watkins, Alice West, Emily Wilder, Amy Wolstenholme, Maria Woodford, Jim Woods, Chelsy Wu, Catherine Yarrow, Rawan Yousif, Alex Zhang, Margaret Zhang, Lisa Zou.

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ANDREW O’HAGAN with IAN MCDIARMID ‘What Do We Love When We Love Poetry?’ Friday 6 November 2015... fb.me/6OFIgz9A2