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Young poet receives accolade at Ilkley Literature Festival

16 September 2021  |  Jill Lundberg  |  Posted in: ,

Florence Hall, a budding poet and Year 13 student, had her work recognised at the recent Ilkley Literature Festival’s poetry competition. Placed runner-up in the young people’s competition, Florence and her family were invited to an awards ceremony where she had the opportunity to read her poem to the audience. You can enjoy Florence’s poem below.

Launched by W. H. Auden, the first Ilkley Literature Festival was held in 1937. The highly regarded festival takes place in October each year across a range of venues with around 150 events, all centred around Ilkley. The competition was judged by Andy Craven-Griffths, who runs a lot of prestigious workshops for young poets and is currently working on a PhD in Creative Writing.

Florence said: “I entered the competition in March but had been working on the poem for about a month. The competition actually had a prescribed theme – the natural world – but other than it linking to the theme, I could use any form and ideas I wanted. I was inspired by The Great Frost of 1608, where the Thames froze over for six weeks, allowing for stalls to be set up on the ice. From this, I wanted to picture a scenario where every aspect of human life was abruptly stopped by frost, a force of nature, and what it might show about the way we live with nature.”

“The winner and runner-up in the children’s and young people’s competitions were invited to read their poems. It was so lovely to hear poetry from people in reception all the way up to 17 and 18 years olds. After each poem, Andy gave some comments on it to the audience (friends and family), where he picked out his favourite lines and explained why he liked them so much.

“I am extremely grateful and thrilled to have been placed in the competition, it was a wonderful experience’ ”

Miss Weston, Lead Teacher for English, said: “Having already impressed us with her prize-winning entry to the Areté Learning Trust English prize, it is fantastic to see Florence prosper at a national level for her poetry – to be placed at the Ilkley Literature Festival is an outstanding achievement. As a writer, she has a great ear for sound patterns and is original in her use of imagery – it is always a pleasure to read her poetry.”

If any students are interested in entering the competition next year, then keep your eye on the Festival’s website during the early part of 2022 for details on how to enter. You can also follow the Festival ON FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM to keep up to date with all the news and events.

Photography credit: Rich Bunce.

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