Budding young writers win Brookes poetry competition

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Oxfordshire schoolchildren pick up prizes for creative writing.

Sixteen budding young poets have been singled out for their creative writing skills in Oxford Brookes' first ever poetry competition for Oxfordshire schoolchildren.

More than 600 youngsters entered the competition, run by the University's Poetry Centre, aimed at inspiring more young people to write poetry.

Primary schoolchildren were asked to send in poems on the topic of 'Moving' and secondary students on the theme of 'Connecting' to be judged by Oxford poet, Helen Kidd.

The winners and runners-up gathered for a prize-giving and poetry reading at Oxford Brookes on Friday 18 April.

First prize in the primary category was awarded to 10-year-old Ruby Ellis from Rye St Antony school for her poem 'Katie Kennet Moving.'

15-year-old Aska Matsunaga from Wychwood School received first prize in the secondary category for her compelling poem 'Connecting: 50p to spare her' focusing on world poverty and a child soldier.

She said: 'I was really surprised to win because I wasn't expecting it at all. We were studying poems in class and it was really interesting so I decided to write more and more and more.”

Head judge, Helen Kidd, was impressed by the standard of entries. She said: 'The most appealing poems were those that were full of life, energy, linguistic enthusiasm and general appreciation for the textures of language.”

Director of Oxford Brookes University's Poetry Centre, Rachel Buxton, added: 'We were absolutely delighted by the response and by how the topics were interpreted in such original and inventive ways. We like to work closely with the community and local schools - this competition was about encouraging creative talent to flourish and opening up the world of poetry.”

The winners received cash prizes of £150 for 1st prize, £75 for 2nd, £30 for 3rd and £10 Blackwell's book tokens for runner-ups. The two schools whose students won 1st prize were also awarded an afternoon poetry workshop with Helen Kidd.

Find out more about Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre.

Pictured are 1st prize winners Ruby Ellis (Rye St Antony), Helen Kidd and Aska Matsunaga (Wychwood School).