On 10 December Tally Koren and Lord Eames hosted a reception in the River Room of the House of Lords to celebrate the winners of a poetry competition for UK schools on the theme of peace. The event, called ‘Visions of Hope’, included short talks by The Poetry Society’s Director, Judith Palmer; poet Pete Brown; and poet and journalist Nabeel Yasin. Award-winning singer-songwriter Tally Koren, who organised the competition, will set a line from each of the winning poems to music.
Congratulations to Arwen Kitson from Ringwood Waldorf School who was the first-prize winner in the 7-11 age category with her poem ‘Longing for Peace’. Her poem is structured around bold similes which personify peace itself and begins:
I, like the wind,
Like the howling wind,
Hope to get under the door,
To seek the sanctuary of the hearth.
Congratulations too to Charlotte Ambrose from Edgbarrow School who won first-prize in the 12-15 age category with her poem ‘Peace on Earth’. Her poem conjures the difficulty of hope, whose speaker is waiting for news of their loved one. It starts:
Flashes colour the sky at night,
in streaks of black and red.
Bright lights shine on through the streets,
But hearts turn dark with dread.
I choose to keep waiting.
All, but hope, is gone
So as the sun dips lower
I sit, waiting for the dawn.
Runners-up included Olujimi Bakare from Edgegrove School, Ben Watley from Heathcote Preparatory School, Alessandra Rusu from Sydney Russell School and Ella Scully from Derby High School.
You can read the winning poems in full here.
12 December 2018