There were shimmers, glimmers, gleams and sparkles of optimism and positivity inspiring our popular and celebrated Charles Causley Young Person’s Poetry Competition this year. We were delighted to able to hold our prize-giving presentation both in person at the North Cornwall Book Festival in September for winners who were able to attend, and also to set up a live Zoom video feed for the winners who were unable to make the journey to us. From a record 515 entries received in this year’s competition, winners hailed from as close as Bridgwater in Somerset to as far as London, Manchester, Suffolk and even Aberdeen!
Using the competition’s theme of Belonging, the judges were looking for entries to reflect ideas of belonging as being an important part of human nature as well as the natural world in general, and to think about how we imagine, feel and experience our attachments and the attachments of others.
And they certainly weren’t disappointed this year – the judges were impressed with the depth, range of ideas, imagery and beauty of the poem entries. It was a tough decision as ever, however the judges managed to choose 16 winners from the three age groups; 5-11, 11-16 and 16-18.
Category A Winners (Age 5-11)
First Prize – They Strut around, I tag along by Cassia Pickford
Second Prize – My name is Orange by Jasmine Anderson
Third Prize – Season by Annie Dowell
Highly Commended – Freedom my way by Genesis Brown
Highly Commended – Wher I blong by Findlay MacKinnon
Highly Commended – Belonging by Olivia Grey
Category B Winners (Age 11 – 16)
First Prize – The Bone Carvers of Fujian by Tara Tulshyan
Second Prize – Look stranger by Leo Gibson
Third Prize – Room by Holly White
Highly Commended – Ireland by Kelly Yu
Highly Commended – Beauty Is pain by Derin Adeoye
Category C Winners (Age 16 – 18)
First Prize – Two Shoes by Anisha Minocha
Second Prize – Antiques shopping by Larissa Chan
Third Prize – Honeysuckle sweet by Rhiannon Hagger
Highly Commended – Ghazal for the Monopoly of Belonging by Francesca Carter
Highly Commended – Embers of ash that belong here by Alenya Fowler