Huge congratulations are in order to 17-year-old Lauren Hollingsworth Smith of Rotherham Young Writers – one of the 15 winning poets of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2019!
“If poetry is the language of being human, here we have poets speaking in every cadence possible.” – Jackie Kay and Raymond Antrobus, Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award judges 2019
On 2 October 2019, the top 15 poets and 85 commended poets who are winners of this year’s Foyle Young Poets Award were announced at a glitzy ceremony at Southbank Centre, London. The top 15 poets read their winning poems to an excited room of young writers, parents, VIP guests and established poets. Following their reading, they heard from and had a chance to ask questions of this year’s judges Raymond Antrobus and Jackie Kay, as well as Foyle Patrons Ellie Kendrick (herself a former winner) and best-selling poet Nikita Gill.
The winning entries were selected from over 6,000 poets and over 11,000 poems by this year’s poet judges Raymond Antrobus and Jackie Kay. Writers aged 11-17 entered the competition from 76 different countries, from as far afield as Vietnam, Romania, Mexico and Japan, as well as the four corners of the UK.
You can read all the winning poems here. And that’s a fab photo of Lauren’s winning poem ‘I want to stand naked in the school hall’ below.
Massive thanks to The Poetry Society for all you do to support and encourage poets of all ages!
Lauren Hollingsworth Smith
Lauren Hollingsworth Smith is a young writer from Rotherham and a member of Hive’s poetry collective and Rotherham Young Writers. She was one of 15 winners in the international Foyle Young Poet of the Year Awards in 2019, and was highly commended in the Young Northern Writers Award and Ilkley Young Writers Competition in the same year. Lauren volunteers as a writing mentor to children at Grimm & Co and is passionate about continuing to build her craft as a writer. She has been published in Hive anthologies, halfway smile and surfing the twilight, and was recently commissioned to write a poem for Hive’s Birdlife podcast project. She’s performed at various young writers’ events, and festivals including the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival.