The winners of the 12th Christopher Tower Poetry Prize have been announced today, after pupils from 356 schools entered the annual poetry competition.
The competition asked for poems on the theme of ‘Voyages’ and was open to students throughout the UK born between 1994 and 1996.
Papa’s Epilogue won first prize for seventeen year-old Sarah Fletcher from the American School in London, Balloon-song took second place for Bethan Smith from South Essex College and Maiden Voyage merited third place for Millie Guille of St Bartholomew’s School in Berkshire.
The competition was judged by the poets Christopher Reid, Don Paterson, and Peter McDonald. Mr Reid, who won a Costa Book Award in 2009, said: ‘I was delighted by the adventurous spirit of so many of our young voyagers, who took us to surprising places, sometimes by highly imaginative means of transport.’
All the winning poems are on the Tower Poetry website, where the young authors read their own poems. Tower Poetry at Christ Church aims to encourage the writing and reading of poetry by young adults and the next event will be a conversation between Professor Sir Geoffrey Hill and Dr Peter McDonald on W.B. Yeats at Christ Church on Wednesday 9 May.