October 2, 2012

Teens turn to poetry


Speech Debelle

The Independent reports that the UK’s Young Poets of the Year Award attracted record submissions this year. More than 7,000 eleven- to seventeen-year olds sent work to the competition, which is sponsored by the bookshop chain Foyles.

Speculating on why entry figures soared this year, the Independent‘s report points to the growing popularity of poetry slams, and of musicians and performers like Speech Debelle, the Mercury Music Prize-winner who began writing lyrics after penning poems from age nine, and Kate Tempest, a performer and writer whose output includes poetry, lyrics, prose and plays.

Things are looking up for poetry in the UK in general, after it was announced earlier this year that the new national curriculum will require students to learn poetry by heart.

You can read extracts from the fifteen winning works in the competition here.



Ellie Robins is an editor at Melville House. Previously, she was managing editor of Hesperus Press.