20 Years of Foyle Young Poets

2018 marked the 20th anniversary of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award. In recognition of the Award’s contribution to poetry over the past 20 years, and in celebration of this landmark year, The Poetry Society organised anniversary readings, interviews, events and more throughout 2018. You can find out more about some of these below. You can also flick through previous years of Foyle Young Poets anthologies for free on our updated bookshelf.

Foyle 20 events

Foyle Young Poets at Race & Poetry & Poetics UK: Legacies of Colonialism conference in Cambridge
Saturday 27 October 2018
Queen’s College, Cambridge

Readings celebrating Foyle Young Poets of colour including Mukahang Limbu, Cia Mangat, Aisha Mango Borja and Meredith LeMaître as part of the Race & Poetry & Poetics UK conference in Cambridge.

And the Air Sang: 20 Years of Foyle Young Poets
Tuesday 23 October 2018
Southbank Centre, London

Readings by a gathering of ten Foyle Award-winning poets from across the decades at an event celebrating 20 years of The Poetry Society’s award. Featuring Jay Bernard, Sarah Howe, Helen Mort, Holly Hopkins, A.K. Blakemore, Richard O’Brien, Richard Osmond, Jade Cuttle, Phoebe Stuckes, and Magnus Dixon.

Contains Strong Language at Hull
Sunday 30 September 2018
Hull College Horncastle Building, Hull
Jay Bernard, Phoebe Stuckes and Caroline Bird, read as part of the BBC’s Contains Strong Language Festival. The performance was recorded for broadcast on Radio 3’s The Verb’ on 4 October – National Poetry Day.

Free Verse: The Poetry Book and Magazine Fair
Saturday 22 September
Senate House, London

Free Verse is an all-day bazaar, market, library, meeting place, performance venue, information resource and more. Two Foyle Young Poets, Ruby Evans and Cyrus Larcombe-Moore read at Free Verse this year.

Greenbelt Festival
Sunday 29 August 2018
Boughton House, Northamptonshire
Foyle Young Poets Annie Katchinska and A.K. Blakemore read at Greenbelt Festival.

Workshop at Telling Tales Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe
Sunday 29 July 2018
Shakespeare’s Globe, London
Foyle Young Poet Ankita Saxena delivered a poetry workshop for children as part of the Telling Tales Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe.

Festival Launch! Showcase and Celebration! at Ledbury Poetry Festival
Friday 29 June 2018

Foylers Jade Cuttle, Ankita Saxena and Charlotte Wetton read at the festival’s launch.

‘You Envied the Stars their Height’: Inspiring Young Writers in the Classroom
Monday 18 June 2018
King’s College, London
On 18 June 2018 teachers, educators, poets and students gathered to King’s College London to discuss poetry education and the FYP’s role in getting more poetry into schools. We heard from former Foyle winner Jay Bernard, Teacher Trailblazer Ben Bransfield, Foyle Young Poet and teacher-in-training Jasmine Simms; and Dr Sue Dymoke (University of Leicester) and Dr Anthony Wilson (University of Exeter) who plan to research the trends and impact of the Award.

Young Poets Takeover
The Poetry Café, London
In the summer of 2018, we hosted two free readings at The Poetry Café by and for young poets. All the readers at the first Takeover were Foyle Young Poets, and at the second event we opened it up to all young poets from our programmes, many of whom were Foyle Young Poets too. Read the news piece after the first Takeover in June, and Foyle Young Poet and Foyle intern Maud Mullan’s review of the second Young Poets Takeover in August.

young poet reads before a crowd
Photo credit: Cesare de Giglio for The Poetry Society.

In print

Foyle Young Poets News

Martha Sprackland edited a special supplement to The Poetry Society’s Poetry News in summer 2018. The supplement contains interviews with former winners who are now poets, actors, lawyers, translators and illustrators, from Sarah Howe to Caroline Bird, Adham Smart to Ellie Kendrick, Jay Bernard to Emily Haworth-Booth. With insights from leading teachers and poetry educators, a page is also dedicated to Foyle Young Poets in schools, and the importance of poetry in the classroom. The supplement is illustrated by former winner Emily Haworth-Booth.

Read the Foyle 20 supplement

colourful illustration of foyle young poets round a table: one on a unicycle, one reading under the table, in front of a window
Illustration by Emily Haworth-Booth for The Poetry Society.


Foyle Friday

Young Poets Network, The Poetry Society’s platform for young poets, hosted a series of ten interviews with former Foyle Young Poets and judges which went live every Friday throughout the summer of 2018.

  1. 2017 FYP Andrew Pettigrew interviews 2008 judge Ian McMillan
  2. We speak to former winners Helen Mort, Ankita Saxena and Richard O’Brien
  3. We interview FYPs Jade Cuttle, Richard Osmond and Laura Potts
  4. We catch up with former FYPs Amanda Chong and Phoebe Stuckes
  5. FYPs and novelists Michael Donkor and Anbara Salam speak to YPN
  6. YPN interviews literary agent Hattie Grunewald and once YPN editor Phoebe Walker
  7. Margot Armbruster interviews fellow FYP Peter LaBerge, founder of The Adroit Journal, in an American special
  8. FYP Meredith LeMaître interviews Sarah Howe
  9. Jay Bernard, Phoebe Power and Imogen Cassels reflect on winning the Foyle Award
  10. FYP Rachel Hard speaks about her job in children’s publishing