The National Trust presents awards to student winners of the Thomas Hardy Young Poetry Prize

Students Seek to Emulate Hardy

The National Trust presents awards to student winners of the Thomas Hardy Young Poetry Prize

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Four of the six finalists in the NT Thomas Hardy Young Poetry Competition 2019, l-r: Kitty Fisher (Winner), Year 9 of Colyton Grammar School; Alice Padget (Highly Commended), Year 12 Thomas Hardye School; Leonie Cobban (Runner-Up), Year 9 Thomas Hardye School; Eve Gilmour (Highly Commended), Year 9 Thomas Hardye School. The two other Highly Commended students not able to attend the Ceremony were Eliose Cray and Aiden Phillips, both Year 9 Thomas Hardye School.

The Thomas Hardy Society and the National Trust are helping to cultivate a new generation of poets in Dorset. The Trust has awarded six winners aged 13-18 from across the county in its inaugural Thomas Hardy Young Poetry Prize.

The overall winner was Kitty Fisher from Hooke, near Beaminster, with her poem 'Reading "A Wife in London"', which was praised for 'its wit, depth, and poetic passion', while Leonie Cobban from Weymouth was runner-up with 'The Wind Watches'.

Judges included the Society's Academic Director, Dr Faysal Mikdadi, who has also been running Thomas Hardy workshops at a number of schools and said: 'I am particularly delighted by the students' courageous creativity. They...take risks with poetry and consequently compose memorable lines. The students find Hardy's poems approachable and accessible. Many emulate his writings and bring them up to date and apply them to their lives'. 


The National Trust Thomas Hardy Young Poetry Prize for 2020 will open in November.

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