Poetic Colyton Grammar student tastes literary stardom

Foyle Young Poets winner Emma Lister. Photo by Simon Cronley.

Foyle Young Poets winner Emma Lister. Photo by Simon Cronley. - Credit: Archant

Sixteen year old Emma crowned winner in the prestigious Foyles Young Poets Competition.

An aspiring journalist tasted literary stardom after she was crowned as a winner in the Foyle Young Poets Competition - the largest under-18 poetry competition in the world.

Colyton Grammar student Emma Lister, 16, from Farway, entered her poem Love Is A Knife With Which I Explore Myself, which describes the murder of a woman by her husband.

“It was probably the best poem I’ve written,” said Emma, who finished it when she was just 15.

“I didn’t want to write something based on personal experiences and my feelings because there are better things to write about.”


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Emma’s poem was crowned victorious along with other 14 other young poets’ works. The student’s achievement was even more impressive as entrant numbers showed the competition received a record number of poems submitted - 7,478 pieces from 75 countries.

Emma and her fellow winners were crowned at a ceremony in London, where they read their poems to an audience.

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“I was so nervous,” Emma said, “But, it was great when I did it. To be honest, it hasn’t really set in that I’ve won. I still feel in shock.”

The winners’ works will be published in an anthology, which is set to be released in March 2014.

In the meantime, Emma has set her sights on further victories in other challenging competitions.

“I’m planning to enter a poem in the Christopher Tower Poetry Competition,” she said. “It’s a step up, as I would receive a monetary prize if I were to win.”

At last year’s Tower competition, £3,500 was awarded the between first, second and third place victors, but Emma isn’t too fazed about the high-end rewards.

“At the end of the day, I don’t enter competitions with the mindset that I just have to win,” she said.

“I write because it’s a passion of mine, and I enjoy people who enjoy my poems. I think it’s everyone’s dream to be recognised for doing something they love.”

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