Posted: 5 October 2012
The actor Richard E. Grant awarded a thousand pound prize to 10 year-old Hugo Grundy, the winner of the 2012 John Betjeman Poetry Competition for Young People, in a ceremony held at St Pancras International on National Poetry Day, Thursday 4th October. The first prize is divided equally between Hugo and the English department of his school, Riverside Junior School (Hebden Bridge). National Poetry Day Spokespoet Ian McMillan will lead a poetry workshop at Riverside Junior School.
Joining Richard were acclaimed poet Grace Nichols and Andrew Martin, who judged the competition, and the actors Kenneth Cranham and Phyllida Law.
First established in 2006 by the family of the former Poet Laureate, the competition aims to encourage children to read, write and be inspired by poetry. It also seeks to unearth hidden talent, to give due praise to the teachers of the prize winners and to sponsor poet workshops in schools across the country.
Over 3,000 schoolchildren entered the competition this year and the highly commended entrants along with the two runners-up Leora Baxter-Zorin (the Dragon School, Oxford) and Henry Coleman (home schooled, North Elmham, Norfolk) attended the ceremony to collect their prizes.
Hugo Grundy said ‘I'm delighted because it's the biggest competition I have ever entered. When I came up to read my poem I felt quite intense and shaky but when I got into reading it I felt proud and calm'.
As part of this year's prize, St George the Martyr C. of E. Primary School (Holborn) was selected to receive a poetry workshop from Laura Dockrill. Holly Hopkins will lead a poetry workshop at Arnhem Wharf Primary School (Tower Hamlets). A poet will also make a visit to William Farr C. of E. Comprehensive School (Lincoln).
Categories: Poetry Prizes