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Winners of D poetry competition announced

Our English Department welcomed highly esteemed poet and writer Louisa Adjoa Parker to judge the School’s poetry competition ‘Answering Back’ for D pupils.

The winners have now been announced and pupils have been presented with their certificates:

  • Beatrice O’S – first prize for ‘IF – The Lockdown Version’
  • Issy P – second prize for ‘Untitled’
  • Molly O – third prize for ‘Blackberry Pie’
  • Tamara H and Jack O – both highly commended for ‘Lake Isle of Innisfree’ and ‘The Boathouse’ respectively.

Head of English Ms Weatherby commented: “We were delighted to welcome Louisa to judge this year’s poetry competition. The entries were of such a high level and it was difficult to choose the winners. Louisa has kindly provided her feedback and comments on the poems and it’s great that she was so moved and inspired by the poems written by our youngest year group.”

Judge’s comments on Beatrice’s winning poem

“This poem was a clear winner for me: it brought tears to my eyes. I loved the way the poet used a classic poem and created a modern version, talking about something we can all relate to, so beautifully, and eloquently. It really captured the last year, with humour, and a lightness of touch which gives the reader hope that we are resilient as humans, we will survive. It is honest and funny and perfectly captures this recent snapshot in time none of us could have ever imagined and will be hard to explain to future generations! The content is spot on, the rhythm and meter, and details and rhyme are all fantastic. I very much hope this poet continues on this creative journey and look forward to reading their work in the future!”

Judge’s comments on Issy’s poem

“I loved the magic and richness of this poem, the focus on the natural world, and imagination, the possibilities of being somewhere else. I could almost hear the birds and smell the scent of flowers.”

Judge’s comments on Molly’s poem

“I loved the rich details and imagery in this poem, and the way the poet had been inspired by the model yet made this piece their own. I thought the final line was stunning and a perfect end to a really lovely poem.”

Louisa Adjoa Parker 
(Photo Credit: Robert Golden)

Louisa Adjoa Parker is of English-Ghanaian heritage and her work has been widely published. Louisa has twice been shortlisted by the Bridport Prize, highly commended by the Forward Prize and has performed her work in the South West and beyond.

Louisa commented: “Judging these poems was an incredibly hard thing to do – all the poems were brilliant in different ways, all were rich with imagery, details, and light, and nature, and history, and what it means to be young, and human, in today’s world. If I could have made more of them winners, I would have done!

“When judging, I considered the quality of the poem itself (imagery, meter, rhyme, details, emotional response, how much of themselves the poet appears to have put into the piece) as well as the creative response to the models provided.

“What a fantastic group of young poets. I feel honoured to have read their work. Thank you all for writing these wonderful poems and I wish you all the best in your writing journeys – I hope you keep going!”