Norwich teenager named among 15 best young poets in the world
- Credit: Archant
A Norwich teenager has been named one of the best young poets in the world, beating almost 6,000 others to claim the title.
Mathilda Armiger has been announced as one of the top 15 Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2018, after a tough competition which saw more than 11,000 poems entered from almost 6,000 people around the world.
They included entrants from Armenia, Botswana, Cambodia and Uruguay - and every post code in the UK.
Organised by The Poetry Society and supported by the Foyle Foundation, the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award has this year celebrated its 20th anniversary.
It is one of the largest literary competitions in the world, and has kickstarted the careers of plenty of young poets.
Those in the top 15 will be invited to attend a residential writing course, or, depending on age, receive poetry workshops at their school.
Sixteen-year-old Mathilda triumphed with her poet Lobster Shift, which came a year after she was made a commended winner of the Foyle Young Poets Award in 2017.
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She is currently a member of Engage! at the National Centre for Writing, based at Dragon Hall in Norwich city centre.
Competition judge Caroline Bird, a Foyle winner in 1999 and 2000, said: 'The poems that embedded themselves in my mind were those with a strong, original idea. They jumped out because they felt new and vivid; cinematic and alive, like they weren't documented on the page they were occurring on the page.'
Mathilda said she doesn't know how she first got into writing, but said one day she would like to live in an abandoned lighthouse and publish a book.
The 15 winners included seven from London, and others from Surrey, Leeds and Sheffield.
The winning poem:
I want to mummify
your flesh you're ablaze
beside my bag of bones
so I can't sleep you're so
still and I want to burn
your gold wreathed
limbs for slipping so
swift into the dripping
deep I want to kick
in your soft brinks if
you breathe so loud
one more time lining
your sagging smoker's
lungs with the biblical
dust of my rented room
above the chinese shop I
want to take my grease
run hands down down
down your hot red mouth
slip in your wet gorge of
a neck let it squeeze my
fists in ecstasy I'll crawl in
disappear amongst your
clotted viscera let me hide
for a while against your
spine and devour you from