Former Poetry Society Youth Members

Many of our youth members have gone on to publish and perform their poetry across the world. Find out about some of them below.

Ameerah Arjanee, Jay Bernard, Caroline Bird, Amy Blakemore, Kayo Chingonyi, Bridget Collins, Swithun CooperCharlotte Geater, Hattie Grunewald, Bryony Harrower, Holly Hopkins, Sarah Howe, Judith Huang, Annie Katchinska, Eleanor Kendrick, Caleb Klaces, Leon Yuchin Lau, Anna Lewis, Nicholas Liu, Alice Malin, Laura Marsh, Michael McKimm, Helen Mort, Richard O'Brien, Richard Osmond, Charlotte Runcie, Collette Sensier, Laura Seymour, Matt Shoard, Adham Smart, Martha Sprackland, Sophie Stephenson-Wright, Chloe Stopa-Hunt, Qian Xi Teng, Charlotte Trevella, Charlotte Wetton, Luke Yates, Ahren Warner

To find out latest news on some of our young poets on the stage and beyond - click here

Ameerah Arjanee

Photo of Ameerah

In 2011 Ameerah published a pamphlet to the universe with l’Atelier d’Ecriture. Ameerah has been published in The Cadaverine and came runner-up in The Blue Pencil’s Elizabeth Bishop Prize for Verse in 2010.

Ameerah was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2010 and Commended in 2011.
 

 

 

Jay Bernard

The title of Your Sign is Cuckoo, Girl, published by tall-lighthouse, is taken from Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time. “In retrospect, I think I was looking to explore a similar kind of womanly introspection - full of nightmares, infatuation and lunacy. I wrote most of the poems between 16 and 19, and almost all were written with readings in mind. The pamphlet itself came out of a ‘pilot series’ tall-lighthouse had created, Roddy Lumsden was my editor and it was the Poetry Book Society’s pamphlet choice for summer 2008.”

Jay’s poetry was featured in Bloodaxe’s Voice Recognition: 21 poets for the 21st Centrury. Jay performed alongside Jackie Kay and Costa Prize Winner Jo Shapcott at the re-opening of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon in 2010. She has also performed at the Big Chill and Latitude festivals, and on Radio 4, Radio 3 and The Culture Show. She is one of ten poets selected for The Complete Works II, a national development programme from Spead The Word for advanced Black and Asian poets, which culminates in a Bloodaxe anthology.

Jay was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2005. Jay is also a previous winner of our SLAMbassador spoken word championship.

Caroline Bird

Caroline Bird's playful and surreal poems have a startling vibrancy. Her first collection Looking Through Letterboxes was published in 2002; her follow up collection Trouble Came to the Turnip came out in 2006. Caroline's latest book Watering Can launched at the end of November 2009. They are all published by Carcanet.

Caroline has performed widely, including Latitude, The Big Chill, Ledbury Poetry Festival and alongside Simon Armitage for National Poetry Day 2010. In 2002 Caroline won an Eric Gregory Award and in 2008 and 2010 she was the youngest poet on the shortlist for the Dylan Thomas Prize. In 2011 Caroline made the shortlist for Shell Women of the Future Awards. She was one of the five official poets for the London Olympics 2012.

                                              Caroline was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 1999 & 2000, and                                               Commended in the Christopher Tower Poetry Prize in 2004.

                                               'The tone fuses knowing innocence and integrity; some poems are faux naif                                                with a ballad lilt, others are sad, funny, surreal; all are studded with fresh                                                imaginative insights.' - Ruth Padel, Financial Times

                                               'Her poems burst with linguistic energy', and the book is profligate with                                                 striking lines and images.' - Times Literary Supplement 

Amy Blakemore

Photo of AmyImage: Alice Bullough

Amy’s poetry was featured in Bloodaxe’s Voice Recognition: 21 poets for the 21st century and she performed at Latitude Festival in 2011. She has poems in magazines including Pomegranate, Rising, Magma, FuseLit, Cake and Cadaverine. Her Intro was published by Nasty Little Press in 2012.

Amy was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2007 & 2008.


 

 

 Kayo Chingonyi

Photo of KayoImage:Liam   Davenport

Kayo’s pamphlet Some Bright Elegance was published by Salt in 2012. “Chingonyi's debut offering presents an achingly tangible vision of a world of bass and deified beats and backstreet pizzerias and so much more, shuttling from Borges and Cildo Meireles to Bojangles and manga/anime, all rendered through an effortlessly self-assured voice. More than a title, ‘Some Bright Elegance’ is a statement of intent, a promise that Chingonyi delivers on” (Jacob Sam-La Rose).

Kayo’s poetry has featured in Salt’s The Best British Poetry 2011, Bloodaxe’s Out of Bounds and The World Record, and the British Council’s Verbalized, among others. He has read at many venues and events, including London Literature Festival, The Big Chill, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Buckingham Palace and internationally at Manarat Al Saadiyat (Abu Dhabi) and State Theatre of South Africa. As a creative writing tutor he has                                              devised and delivered workshops for a range of institutions including the                                              National Theatre and YMCA. Kayo is one of ten poets selected for The Complete Works II, a national development programme from Spead The Word for advanced Black and Asian poets, which culminates in a Bloodaxe anthology.

Kayo was joint winner of the 2003 SLAMbassador spoken word championship.

Bridget Collins

Photo of BridgetImage: Catherine Shakespeare Lane

Bridget writes young adult fiction as B.R. Collins. Her novels include The Traitor Game (which won the 2009 Branford Boase Award) and The Broken Road.

Bridget was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 1999.

 

 

 

 

 

Swithun Cooper

 

Swithun won an Eric Gregory Award in 2009 and has been published in magazines including Acumen, the London Magazine and PN Review. He spent a year as the Deputy Editor of Northern Exposure, the Arts Council of England’s Yorkshire-based arts magazine and now works at The Poetry Library. Swithun founded Poetry Digest, an edible poetry journal, with Chrissy Williams.

Swithun was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2000 and Commended in the Christopher Tower Poetry Prize in 2004.                                                                                         

 

 

 

Photo of Charlotte

Charlotte Geater

Charlotte has been published in The Salt Book of Younger Poets and Stop Sharpening Your Knives 3 & 4. She was poetry submissions editor for Pomegranate, an online magazine that showcased poets under thirty.
 
Charlotte was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and Commended in 2004. She was also Commended in the Christopher Tower Poetry Prize in 2006 and 2008.

 

Hattie Grunewald

Photo of Hattie

Hattie’s poem ‘First Contact’ was chosen as one of three poems to appear on Young Poets on the Underground posters.

Hattie was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2009.

 

 

 

 

Bryony Harrower

Photo of Bryony

Bryony has published a chapbook what love is like in ink with Koo Press.

Bryony was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2009

 


 

 

 

Holly Hopkins

Photo of Holly

Holly won an Eric Gregory Award in 2011 and has been published in anthologies from Sidekick Press, Seren Books and Bloodaxe Books, among others. She has read at Ledbury and Aldeburgh Poetry Festivals and the Royal Festival Hall.

Holly was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 1999 & 2000.

 

 

 

Sarah Howe

“Sarah Howe’s debut (A Certain Chinese Encyclopedia, published by tall-lighthouse) offers great range [and] a series of poetic endeavours which nourish and reward. Some of the work here reflects her dual heritage – in one of her longer pieces she describes travelling to China and Hong Kong where she spent her childhood, to trace her mother's roots. She also offers imaginistic shorter poems and edgier forays into more experimental terrain. She is a poet of place, from the limited landscapes of bed to the grand vistas of exploration” (Roddy Lumsden).

Sarah’s poems have appeared in Shearsman, Stand and The Salt Book of Younger Poets among others. In 2008 she won the London Review of Books Young Reviewers Competition. Sarah won an Eric Gregory Award in 2010 and                                                has performed at Scotland’s StAnza Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival and the                                                Royal Albert Hall. She is one of ten poets selected for The Complete Works II, a national development programme from Spead The Word for advanced Black and Asian poets, which culminates in a Bloodaxe anthology.

Sarah was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2000.

 

Judith Huang

Photo of Judith

Judith’s poetry and essays have been published in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, China Daily and The Harvard Advocate among others. Judith has read at reading series and conferences around the world and is the editor of Ethos Books.

Judith was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2001, 2003 & 2004.

 

 

  

Annie Katchinska 

Annie Katchinska’s pamphlet Faber New Poets 6 was produced as part of Faber’s New Poets series, which identified and supported emerging talents at an early stage in their career through a programme of mentorship, bursary and pamphlet publication. Annie’s poetry was featured in Bloodaxe’s Voice Recognition: 21 poets for the 21st century. Annie has had poems in magazines including Mimesis and Magma and has performed at Latitude Festival. She was a member of the Pomegranate team, an online magazine that showcased poets under 30.

Annie was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2006 & 2007 and won Second Prize in the Christopher Tower Poetry Prize in 2007.

 

Eleanor Kendrick

Photo of Ellie

Ellie is an actress best known for her roles as Anne Frank in the 2009 miniseries, Ivy Morris in the 2010 BBC remake of Upstairs Downstairs, and Juliet in Shakespeare’s Globe’s 2009 production of Romeo and Juliet.

Ellie graduated in English Literature from Cambridge University in summer 2012. She completed her first scriptwriting course at the Royal Court Theatre’s Young Writers’ Programme in 2011 and has since been invited to take up a place on the theatre’s Studio Group.

Ellie was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2007.

 

Caleb Klaces

Photo of Caleb

Caleb Klaces’ pamphlet All Safe All Well was published in 2011 by Flarestack. He was shortlisted for the 2011 Crashaw Prize and won the inaugural Melita Hume Poetry Prize in 2012 with his book Bottled Air, which will be published in 2013.

Caleb’s poetry has appeared in Granta, The Manchester Review, Stand and Eyewear Publishing’s Lung Jazz: Young British Poets for Oxfam, among others. Caleb is the editor of Like Starlings. In 2011 he received an Eric Gregory Award.

Caleb was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2001 & 2002.

 

Leon Yuchin Lau

Photo of Leon

Leon’s poem ‘If a boy must wonder’ was one of three published on posters on the London Tube as part of Young Poets on the Underground.

Leon was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

Anna Lewis

Photo of Anna

Anna’s collection Other Harbours was published in 2012 by Parthian Books. It is populated with characters who move through the liminal space between departure and arrival: soldiers kill time on street corners, an ageing emperor searches for immortality; ignored wives of medieval legend rub shoulders with modern-day migrant workers.

Anna’s poems have been published in magazines including Agenda, New Welsh Review, Poetry Wales and The Shop. She won the Robin Reeves prize in 2008 and in 2010 she won the Orange/ Harper’s Bazaar short story competition. She has performed at the Hay Festival and at literary festivals in Italy, Germany and Greece as part of the Scritture Giovani short story project.

                                             Anna was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2002 and in 2002 she won first                                              prize in the Christopher Tower Poetry Prize

 

Nicholas Liu

Photo of Nicholas

Nicholas has had poems published in Stand and Poetry Review among other publications. His first collection is Versions from the English, from firstfruits publications (2013).

Nicholas was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2003 and Commended in 2004.

 

 

 

Alice Malin

Photo of Alice

Alice has been published in The Mays, Cadaverine and Acumen.

Alice was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2005 and came second in the Christopher Tower Poetry Prize in 2006.

 

 

 

 

Laura Marsh

Photo of Laura

Laura lives in New York, where she works at the New York Review of Books. She has written reviews and arts pieces for The Times Literary Supplement, Prospect, and The New Republic. Her poems have been published in The Guardian, The Rialto, Acumen, The Mays and The Salt Book of Younger Poets. She was an editor for Pomegranate, an online magazine that showcased poets under 30, and a guest editor of YM: Poetry.

Laura was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2005 and 2006 and Commended in the Christopher Tower Poetry Prize in 2007.

 

 

Michael McKimm 

In Still This Need, published by Heaventree Press, Michael McKimm explores the complex beauty of the world we live in, and how we try to understand our place in it. From the wide skies of his native Antrim glens to the secret damp corners of urban England, McKimm’s richly musical verse evokes a haunting landscape against which the intricacies of memory, myth, history and love begin to unfold.

Michael has read at Ledbury Poetry Festival, Scotland’s StAnza Festival and the Féile na Gréine in Co. Kerry. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2007 and his poems have featured in publications including The Shuffle Anthology and Eyewear Publishing’s Lung Jazz: Young British Poets for Oxfam.

                                                Michael was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2001.

 

 Helen Mort

Helen has published three collections of poetry. The shape of every box (published 2007) is her debut pamphlet with tall-lighthouse press, and presents twenty poems of people and place, some of which previously appeared as winning poems in the Foyle competition. A pint for the ghost (published 2009) is a sequence of poems inspired by South Yorkshire legend: a night-time encounter with the ghosts of worked out mines, smoky pubs and deserted highways. It was a Poetry Book Society Choice for Spring 2010.  In 2007 Helen won an Eric Gregory Award and in 2010 she became the  youngest ever poet-in-residence at the Wordsworth Trust.

                                             Her pamphlet Lie of the Land was published by the Wordsworth Trust in 2010.                                              Her first collection is published in 2013 by Chatto & Windus. Helen judged the                                              Foyle Young Poets Award in 2012 along with Christopher Reid.

                                             Helen was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year five times from 1998-2004 and was                                              Commended in the Christopher Tower Poetry Prize in 2004.

 

Richard O'Brien

Richard told us his tall-lighthouse pamphlet your own devices “contains almost everything good I’ve written since the second Foyle’s winners course, and one poem that really came into existence on the first. Most of these poems come from my first year at university, and it probably shows: they’re preoccupied with medieval manuscripts, obscure music, love and jealousy and peanut butter Kit Kat Chunkies. According to the series editor, I’m also ‘lonesome’. I feel like a coyote.”

Richard has been published in The Salt Book of Younger Poets, Magma, FuseLit and The Shuffle Anthology, and was involved with Poetry Parnassus. He was poetry submissions editor for Pomegranate, an online magazine                                                that showcased poets under thirty. Richard blogs for the Huffington Post.

                                                Richard was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2006 & 2007 and                                                 Commended in the Christopher Tower Poetry Prize in 2008.   

 

Richard Osmond

Photo of Richard

Richard's poetry has been published in n+1, Fuselit, The Literateur and The Financial Times, among others, and appears in the anthologies Best British Poetry 2011 and The Salt Book of Younger Poets. He is joint editor of Thirteen Pages

Richard was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2005.

 

 

 

 

Charlotte Runcie

Charlotte's pamphlet Seventeen Horse Skeletons is published by tall-lighthouse. Charlotte’s poems are about journeys, internal and external, real and imagined. Using both strict form and free verse, her pamphlet tells stories of the everyday alongside semi-mythical beings and strange landscapes, from the bottom of the sea to outer space.

Charlotte’s poems have appeared in magazines including Magma, FuseLit, Read This and The Dial, and The Salt Book of Younger Poets. She was the editor of Pomegranate, an online magazine that showcased poets under thirty.

Charlotte was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2006 and won First Prize in                                                 the Christopher Tower Poetry Prize in 2007.  

 

Colette Sensier

Colette’s pamphlet How Many Camels Is Too Many? was published by holdfirepress in 2012. She has had poems in Salt’s Best British Poetry 2011, The Salt Book of Younger Poets and Eyewear Publishing’s Lung Jazz: Young British Poets for Oxfam, among others. Colette was runner-up in the inaugural Melita Hume Poetry Prize in 2012.

Colette was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2004 and Commended in 2005 & 2006. She also won First Prize in the Christopher Tower Poetry Prize in 2006.

 

 

Laura Seymour

Herb Robert grew out of the 2009 Flarestack Press pamphlet competition. Laura was shortlisted in this competition, and then invited to submit a new collection to the editors, Meredith Andrea and Jacqui Rowe, for consideration. It is a collection of poems written around the theme of the plant herb robert (it’s in each of them somewhere), in particular, the myth that if you pick it, someone will come and take you away. Laura has had poems published in magazines including The New Writer, Fire and Under the Radar.

Laura was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2004.

 

Matt Shoard

Photo of Matt

Matt’s poetry, fiction and journalism have appeared in The Guardian, 3:AM Magazine, The Frogmore Papers, Poetic Licence and Writers’ Forum. Matt has taught creative writing at the University of Kent and the University of Greenwich and is the editor of online magazine Fleeting.

Matt was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 1999.

 

 

 

Adham Smart

Photo of Adham

Adham has read at the Houses of Parliament and Ledbury Poetry Festival. His work has appeared in The Cadaverine, Fuselit, Eyewear, Cake and The Rialto, among others. Adham was the submissions and other media editor for Pomegranate, an online magazine that showcased poets under 30.

Adham was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2006, 2008 & 2009.

 

 

 

Martha Sprackland

Photo of MarthaImage: Ben Robins

Martha’s poems have appeared in magazines including Magma, Iota, Brittle Star, Pomegranate and The Cadaverine, and featured in The Salt Book of Younger Poets and Eyewear Publishing’s Lung Jazz: Young British Poets for Oxfam. Martha and Andrew McMillan co-edit Cake magazine.

Martha was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 1999 & 2005 and Commended in 2003.

 

 

 

Sophie Stephenson-Wright

Photo of Sophie

In 2010 Sophie’s poem ‘Whalesong’ was one of three chosen to appear on Young Poets on the Underground posters (appearing on London's underground trains) and was published in Macmillan Poetry's A First Poetry Book  in 2012.

Sophie was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2008 and was Commended in the Christopher Tower Poetry Prize in 2009.

 

 

 

Chloe Stopa-Hunt

Photo of Chloe

Chloe’s poems have appeared in a range of publications, including Oxford Review and Magma. Reviews and review-essays have featured in Asymptote, Poetry Matters, The Oxonian Review, Cake, The Alligator, Mslexia and Poetry Review. Chloe is currently the poetry reviews editor at Cadaverine magazine and a senior editor at The Oxonian Review.

Chloe was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2003 & 2004.

 

 

 

Qian Xi Teng

Photo of Qian XiImage: Pamela Ng

Qian Xi’s first collection They hear salt crystallising was published in 2010 by firstfruitspress. It is an intricate dreamscape where Chinese myths and Western inspirations intertwine with the poet’s personal narrative. Qian Xi has had poems published in various books and magazines including W. W. Norton’s Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond.

Qian Xi was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2000 & 2001.

 

 

 

Charlotte Trevella

Charlotte Trevella has been hailed as a poetry phenomenon in her home country of New Zealand. Her first collection, Because Paradise, was published in 2009. Her work explores the minutaie of relationships and is strongly influenced by the geographic and social landscape of New Zealand.

Charlotte was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2008 & 2009.

 

 

 

Charlotte Wetton

Charlotte is a page and performance poet whose work has featured in The Cadaverine, Staple, The Frogmore Papers and elsewhere. Her audio collection Body Politic was published by Dead Ink in 2012.

Charlotte was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2001.
 

 

 

 

Luke Samuel Yates

Photo of Luke

Luke’s 2009 pamphlet Thinking Inside the Box was launched from inside a box at the Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Studies. He has been published in The North, Smiths Knoll and The Rialto among others, and on the London Underground. His pamphlet The pair of scissors that could cut anything was published by The Rialto in 2013.

Luke was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 1998, 1999, 2001 & 2002.



 

 

Ahren Warner  

    Born in 1986, Ahren Warner grew up in Lincolnshire before moving to London. His first collection, Confer (Bloodaxe, 2011), was both a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.

Ahren's poems have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies and he has also published a pocket-book, Re:, with Donut Press. He was awarded an Eric Gregory Award in 2010 and an Arts Foundation Fellowship in 2012. 

Ahren's second collection of poems, Pretty, is due to be published in June 2013 and is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. He is poetry editor of Poetry London.

Ahren was a Commended Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2002    
   

  



If you are, or have been, a Youth Member of the Society and have a book or publication that you would like to see on our site, let us know

Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award

The UK's largest competition for Young Poets aged 11-17 - click to find out more about the opportunity