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Winner of Countywide Competition Discovers Hampshires Young Poets

Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) in partnership with the Winchester Poetry Festival, has announced the top young poets in Hampshire after the countywide Hampshire Young Poet 2021 annual competition concluded on Saturday 2 October with an awards ceremony. Entries were received from across the county and were judged in three age groups by Hampshire Poet 2020, Kathryn Bevis.

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. Entries were received from both individuals and schools and from all four corners of the county, from Andover to Romsey, Waterlooville, Southampton, Fareham, Basingstoke and Winchester.

The competition was free to enter and invited entrants to write a poem around the theme of ‘hopes and dreams’, with the top three entries in each category receiving National Book Tokens as their prizes, generously sponsored by Phire Ltd.

On Saturday 2 October, the authors of the winning poems were invited with their families to an awards ceremony at City Space in Winchester Discovery Centre to celebrate their achievements. The certificates and prizes were presented by Hampshire Poet 2020, Kathryn Bevis.

The winning poem in the 4-7 category was an entry titled Where the frogs was by Rihaan Morar, the runner-up was Ivy Wilson and in third place was Blue Warren-Smith. In the 8-11 poetry category, Agata Augustyniak’s My Box of Dreams was the winning poem, with Ellie Boulton runner-up and Lucas Lester-Smith in third place. In the 12-16 age group, There must be a reason for why we are here by Jamie See was in first position with Jess Windram in second and Grace Davies in third.

Kathryn Bevis commented, “It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to be trusted by young people to read and judge their poems for the Hampshire Young Poet Awards this year. The winning poems were so varied: some urgent and raw, some playful and inventive, some spell-like and musical. What all the winning poets had in common was a clear commitment to reading and responding to other poets. This elevated and enriched their poems, making them rise to the top of the pile. Warm congratulations to the winners and to all the young poets who wrote and submitted this year. Keep reading and keep writing about the things that are important to you.”

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