King Edward's School BATH

Winners of the KES Poetry Competition announced

Winners of the KES Poetry Competition announced

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27 February 2018

The winners of this year’s Poetry Competition have been revealed today, as part of the School’s week-long celebration of creative writing and literature to coincide with World Book Day on 1 March.

The KES Poetry Competition has been running for eleven years now and invariably inspires beautiful, eclectic, innovative and original verse from pupils of all age groups. And this year was no exception. Inspired by the work of guest judge and author, Anna Wilson, the theme for entries in this year’s poetry competition was ‘My Family and Other Animals’ and pupils ran with the theme, writing verse on pets, parents and all creatures great and small.

In the Junior Category, Highly Commended Certificates went to Rafee Jabarin for ‘The Hydra’ which our judge admired for the ‘strong use of colour and alliteration’ , Claudia Williams for ‘To be Hunted’ which Anna commended for ‘lovely language and evocative imagery’,  Alice Hudson for ‘King of the Skies’ with its ‘wonderful evocation of action and lovely personification’ and Annika Moorhouse for her unnamed poem on the cruelty of battery farming which Anna described as ‘doleful but very well-imagined’.

Runners up were Elsie Bruton for ‘My Family and Other Animals’  which made Anna laugh and which she described as ‘gorgeous’ and Hepzibah Bevis for ‘The Middle of Darkness’ which our judge commended for its ‘beautiful storytelling and scene setting’

The winner in the Junior Category was Orson Savage for ‘Ode to a Heron’ which our judge described as ‘beautiful  and so evocative’ .

In the Senior Category, Highly Commended Certificates went to Philip Christopherson for ‘My Family and Other Animals’ commended for its ‘highly interesting word choices’, Solenne Scholefield for ‘Luminescence’ with its ‘beautifully evocative language’ and Thomas Harcourt for ‘Judas’ where our judge commented on the ‘very strong emotions coming from this writing’.

Runners up were Jago Henderson  for ‘Watch’ which Anna described as ‘very original … just lovely’  and Netta Claydon for ‘Mom’ which our judge described as ‘warm, emotional and original’.

The winner in this category – and also the Overall Winner of the Poetry Competition (for the second year running!) is Ella Fairhurst, whom Anna commended on her ‘powerful imagery, highly original use of personification and great punchline.’  Ella’s poem, ‘Brambles’, can be read in full below.


Senior Winner and Overall Winner - Ella Fairhurst, Year 10


Nestled in the heart of her mother’s clutches,
Barbed wire embrace that both nurtured
And tore apart her blossoms,
In a vain attempt to protect her from life’s only inevitably.

Every day, it came for her,
Singing, hackles raised, bearing its canine jaw,
The crack and pop of arthritic joints and claws on concrete which haunted her so,
Resonating to the fullest in her incapable mind.

The sun reflected Itself in her hunter’s glossy, inked pelt,
As it did her own coat,
However It’s hours of glistening seemed to grow shorter and so she knew
Her youthful innocence was fleeting.

In the days her hunter stayed away - though her distant shrieks could be heard clearly as though she was only paces away -
She ripened.
Her onyx shell flickered in the Sun’s few hours,
And she knew it was only a matter of time.

One morning, she awoke to hot breath
And a thick, warm slobber engulfed her before her poor mother had time to contort herself into a protective stance,
And like that,
The dog had eaten her.

Junior Winner  - Orson Savage, Year 7

Ode to a Heron

He sits by pale blue eggs,

Black feathered hat held high,

Walks with lanky legs.

Wings form ‘M’ in flight


Peering past the rushes

Waiting through the rain

Panicking the thrushes

When beaks hits mark again


There’s something new in the water

Glistening and dazzling white;

Watches intently, still and silent

In gloomy and shadow purged light.


The piscine blob, alas, grows close,

And nearly passes by,

He scoops it out with long, bright nose

And inspects with beady eye.


The plastic bag, now viscous

Attaches to his head

He lifts wing and rises up

But falls back down dead.


Striding up the Tagus

Sitting on the Thames

Gone from page 474

And never seen again.


‘Gone from page 474 is a reference to the removal of the word heron from the Oxford English Dictionary to make way for more modern ‘tech’ words’


About Anna Wilson, guest judge of the Poetry Competition

Talented children’s novelist, Anna Wilson, worked as a children’s book editor before going on to publish over 40 books, poems and short stories for children. She has written many hugely successful series for younger readers including Kitten Catastrophe, Monkey Business, I'm a Chicken, Get Me Out of Here!, and her new series Vlad the World’s Worst Vampire. She has also written for older readers, including the beautiful Summer's Shadow, and she recently wrote Paddington 2 - The Book of the Movie. Anna will readily confess that many of her books were inspired by her own ‘family and other animals.’


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