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.
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.