Student Ben commended at the Foyles Young Poets Award 2023!

Congratulations to student Ben Heiss who last week, on National Poetry Day, was 1 of just 85 individuals to be commended at the Foyles Young Poets Award ceremony in London! 

We are so proud of Ben for this fantastic achievement! To celebrate his success, we're chatting with Ben to find out how he got involved in the competition, and what first sparked his passion for poetry. To read his poem, Though I Know, click the link at the bottom of this page!

I think I first started liking poetry when we studied it in my secondary school for GCSE. I liked how the poems we studied compacted lots of meaning into small sections. I found that I had more freedom when writing poems, compared to writing stories, because I didn’t have to follow the rules too closely. I liked how it allowed you to talk about things in a way that avoids obvious meaning. 

I first came across the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award when I was researching poetry competitions. I had written a lot of poems and decided that i wanted to try and get them seen, so i entered the competition. My poem was mainly inspired by my own life experiences and personal observations of other people. I was trying to write about things that are relevant to the time period we are living in, even the things that seem unimportant and trivial. The approach to the subject matter and the free verse structure were inspired by the poet Allen Ginsberg. 

When I found out I had been shortlisted as an award winner I felt happy that my poem had been acknowledged and awarded. At the award ceremony the Top 15 winning poems were read out to a live audience in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe. All the poems will be published in an online anthology. I was one of the 85 commended poets for the Foyles Young Poets Award.

I would encourage other young people to enter the competition because it’s a great opportunity to get your writing read and awarded, as well an opportunity to meet other people who are interested in poetry.