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Young poet Giovanni Rose has won a prestigious poetry award with his piece Welcome to Tottenham. The teenager beat 6,000 other youngsters from around the world to win the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award.

A boy from Tottenham has won a poetry award for the second time and says it is his experiences growing up in Tottenham which inspire him to write.
The 17-year-old Giovanni Rose, from Tottenham, beat over 6,000 young poets from all over the world to win the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2021 with his poem called Welcome to Tottenham (see below).
Giovanni said: “It was an amazing feeling. I’m glad that the experiences I felt as a young lad from Tottenham will reach a lot of different young people who might have went through the same thing as me.

 

“It’s important to use your voice, you’ll never know what changes you can make until you try.”

Giovanni explained that for him, poetry has always been a way to express himself and says a lot of things are hard to articulate to another person when speaking – “it’s easier to express in poetry, it’s like talking to myself”.

 

He added: “I feel inspired when I’m listening to music – I like rap music and poetry is the purest form of rap.”

In its 23rd year, The Poetry Society announced the winners and judges Clare Pollard and Yomi Sode said: “Judging this year’s Foyle Young Poets of the Year was an absolute honour.

 

“After a period in which the burdens of the pandemic have often fallen so heavily on young people, we were moved by the beauty, fire and resilience of these poems.”

Since 1998, the Award has been finding and supporting young poets from around the world. The competition is for young poets aged between 11 and 17 years old.
From the 14,408 poems entered, this year’s judges Clare and Yomi selected 100 winners, made up of 15 top poets and 85 commended poets.
Winners of the award receive a range of prizes to help develop their writing while the top 15 poets are invited to attend a residential writing course at the Arvon centre, The Hurst in Shropshire, in February 2022. There they will spend a week with Clare and Yomi focusing on improving their poetry.

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