Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) in partnership with the Winchester Poetry Festival, has announced the top young poets in Hampshire after the countywide Hampshire Young Poets 2023 annual competition concluded on Saturday 14 October with an awards ceremony at The Arc, Winchester. Entries were received from across the county and were judged in three age groups by Hampshire Poet, Nazneen Ahmed Pathak.
The competition was open to young people who live or study in Hampshire in three age categories, 4-7, 8-11 and 12-16 years. Over 160 entries were received from both individuals and schools and from all four corners of the county, from Fareham to Romsey, Waterlooville, Southampton, Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester.
The competition was free to enter and invited entrants to write a poem on the theme of ‘home’, whether home is a place or if it’s found in the people who matter most. The young poets each interpreted the theme in the own way, with topics including family, memories, climate change and refugees. The top entries in each category received National Book Tokens as prizes, as well as P&G Wells tokens for the schools of the winning entrants.
On Saturday 14 October, the authors of the winning poems were invited with their families, friends and teachers to an awards ceremony in the Performance Hall at The Arc to celebrate their achievements. The certificates and prizes were presented by the current Hampshire Poet, Nazneen Ahmed Pathak. Also in attendance were the Chair of Winchester Poetry Festival, Jane Bryant, Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Head of Communications, Liz Leask and Steve Scholey, Manager of P&G Wells.
The winning poem in the 4-7 category was an entry titled HOME by Joy Kamara, the runner-up was Alexandra-Elise Urry with I love my home and my family and in third place was Save Our Homes Today! by Bliss Evelyn Aspray. In the 8-11 poetry category, Nia Matthews’ This is what I call home..... was the winning poem, with Joseph Buckland as runner-up with Lying Awake at Home and Kataleja Tuzikiene in third place with So Does A Refugee. In the 12-16 age group, Home by Ella Tighe was in first position with Isabella Golding in second place with a poem of the same name and Shravya Subash placed third with three boys.
For more information and to read the winning poems please visit - https://www.hampshireculture.org.uk/hantsyoungpoets23.
The theme of next year’s competition is ‘Our planet, our world’ and the competition will open for entries in spring 2024.