Young Poets Competition 2015

Poem on a Recyclable Object

Tony Mitton with Rosie Cornelius-Light
Tony Mitton with Rosie Cornelius-Light

The Poems – and the judges’ comments
Click on poem titles to go to the poet’s own page, with poem, photo and credits.
The photos show each young poet being presented with a book by award-winning children’s poet Tony Mitton.

Jessica Canning: a well-written and thoughtful poem which reads as an expression of genuine, heartfelt passion and concern for the environment. It strongly addresses the reader.

The World without Recycling
Rosie Cornelius-Light
: this poem makes its point well with two contrasting word pictures and some very effective language, e.g. ‘fragile habitats recklessly destroyed’.

Recycled Rhymes
Justin Vyvyan-Jones
: an original, cleverly-constructed ‘found poem’ that uses an impressive range of references to classic poems. It maintains the rhyme scheme and rhythm in a very accomplished way.

Rap Journal
Lily Garret
: a lively, engaging poem with a good rhythmic sense and an effective news vendor’s refrain. It has a strong contemporary feel. Maybe Jay-Z could make something of this one!

James Wyatt
: this poem uses rich vocabulary and strong central image. There is some very effective poetic language, e.g. ‘emerald dagger of nature’. The poet has a mature, sophisticated style. The rhyme is not forced and circular structure is very pleasing.

Wine Bottle
Nicole Saxton
: this extended kenning is very effective. It is a deceptively simple poem with very well chosen words. The poet makes effective use of alliteration e.g. clear crystal; and half-rhyme e.g. moon gleamer/thirst leaver

My Dad’s a Recycling Man
Megan Cranstone
: a simple but very authentic poem with a personal touch which works. It has the ‘ring of truth’ as the poet writes from first- hand experience. It is a lively and playful poem with a delightful lightness of tone.

Cheery Cherio
Petroc Vyvyan-Jones
: a clever and original response to the competition’s challenge. The poem has a great sense of rhythmic fun and demonstrates an excellent feel for rhyme. The poem is very well constructed with a punchy, humorous ending – very enjoyable. We will never eat our breakfast cereal in the same way again!

Journal of an Aluminium Can
Bethany Moss
: a lively, emphatic poem that avoids preaching; the poem has real energy and a believable ‘voice’. We feel we are right there with the can, on its roller-coaster journey.

Who? Why? What? About the Young Poets Competition
Taunton’s Fire River Poets, in partnership with Brendon Books, LAMP Magazine, the Somerset Literacy Network and Resources for Learning, invited young poets to enter a Young Poets Competition as part of the Taunton Live festival in July. The competition (sponsored by Viridor) was judged by members of the Fire River Poets and Karen Horsfield of Resources for Learning. The competition was initiated and organised by Annie Fisher of Fire River Poets.

Entrants were asked to write a poem which could be written on, or displayed on, a recyclable object, and which related in some way to the object itself. The results were varied, and inventive. There were 257 entries from 13 different schools, although it should be mentioned that there were no entrants older than 14 (this was probably because the Somerset Literacy Network which did most to promote the competition through its meetings with teachers, works largely with primary and middle schools).

Each prizewinner attended a Poetry Slam at Dillington House on 23rd June organised by Somerset Literacy Network where they met award-winning children’s poet, Tony Mitton, and performed their poem.

As well as the Slam, all prizewinning and commended poets were invited to an award ceremony on the Thursday 23rd July at The Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton, where the winning poems were displayed and the prizewinning poets gave a reading of their poems. The Mayor of Taunton, Marcia Hill, presented certificates and prizes. This evening was very well attended and great fun. Thanks are due to The Brewhouse Theatre staff for their support. Photographs of this event can be found on our Facebook page.