Bolton School Senior Girls

Edgelands Poem Wins Prize

A poem written by Year 11 pupil Amelia Doherty has won second prize in the 2017 August challenge #1 on Young Poets Network (YPN).

The four August challenges are annual poetry competitions designed by Foyle Young Poets to inspire young people to write over the summer. The competition was open to anyone under the age of twenty-five and received many entries from around the world.

The theme for August challenge #1 was ‘edgelands’, the borders between urban and rural spaces. Amelia was inspired to write a poem entitled ‘Camping In The Edgelands With My Cousin’, which was awarded second place: a fantastic achievement considering the number of entries and the age category!

Judge Magnus Dixon commented, “I loved this poem because of the place it took me. It was a vivid rendering of place but also of time – I was transported back to my childhood, aged seven to nine. I was always in awe of my sister, who is such an expert tree climber, she (in this respect only) verges on the primate and the opening brought back memories of time playing and running in the dunes and the small coppices around our village. That natural affinity we have with the grubby and dirt of the outside world as children is beautifully represented in the line; ‘ I swear our bones were oak and our fingers brushed the sky.’ I loved that the edgelands are a space to play even for the natural world, as they watch ‘the embers dance, chasing the dandelion seeds.’ This idea of a space for play recurs in the of the speakers cousin, ‘drawing pictures with her finger/ a dot to dot among stars’ we couldn’t see’ and childhood reappears in the blooming of ‘milk coloured flowers.’ I knew that this poem would become special to me on my first reading of it, and a month later, it remains a favourite and a beautifully written reminder of childhood’s adventures.”

As part of her prize, Amelia received an exclusive Young Poet’s Network notebook and her poem was published on the Young Poets Network website. It can be read in full here.

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