Changing the World: poems for a new climate

 In 2018, News


Changing the World: poems for a new climate

The winners of the inaugural Robert Hutchison Young Poets’ Competition were announced at a special prize-giving event at the University of Winchester on 4 October. All sixteen shortlisted young poets, accompanied by proud parents, guardians and teachers, gathered to read their poems and receive their prizes in the presence of Mayor of Winchester Cllr Frank Pearson. The event coincided with National Poetry Day on the theme of Change.

Entries were received from students at schools across the county as well as from home-schooled young people. There were two age groups: 11-13 and 14-16 years, with first, second and third prizes along with five commended poems awarded in each category.

Judged by Robyn Bolam, Hampshire Poet 2018, the winning poems explored many aspects of climate change and the concerns young people have for the threats to our shared world, from car emissions to environmental ignorance, from clothes worn only once to rising sea levels. The winning entries have been published in a special anthology, Changing the World.

WinACC’s Executive Director, Tom Brenan, said: “We were delighted with the quality and breadth of the poems submitted to the competition. Hearing the poems performed at the prize-giving event highlighted the power of poetry to convey the climate change message and we hope that the event will help to inspire action across the county.”

The competition was launched to celebrate the memory of Winchester climate change campaigner and poetry enthusiast Robert Hutchison, who died last year. Robert founded WinACC in 2007 and Winchester Poetry Festival in 2013.  He campaigned enthusiastically on environmental matters and believed that poetry is a great force for good.

Stephen Boyce, Chair of Winchester Poetry festival said: “These young people have produced passionate and original work of which Robert would have been immensely proud.”

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