2014 Young Poet Awards

2014 Young Poet winner

Conor McKee, Tonbridge, England 
I Will Not Cut for Stone

2104 Commended Young Poets

Joseph Davison-Duddles, Stockton-on-Tees, England
Nothing Happened

Molly Garbutt, Tenbury, England 

Talin Tahajian, Belmont MA, USA 
Dream in which the moon is replaced by my grandfather’s lymphoma tumor   

jj-duddles med

Joseph Davison-Duddles Poems are like pomegranates and poets the ones who open them up. Joseph is sixteen and currently studying AS-levels in English literature, French, history and philosophy at Queen Elizabeth College in Darlington. Taking his influences from Anne Carson, Paul Muldoon and others, he received a commendation from the Foyle Young Poets competition in 2013 and achieved first-place in the Young People category in the Ledbury Poetry Competition of the same year. He has been published online in Cadaverine and Cuckoo Quarterly, and in print in Prole Magazine, with a poem forthcoming in Issue 216 of Ambit Magazine. He wishes to study English literature and modern languages in the future, and to keep opening pomegranates. 

About his poem Nothing Happened Joseph said: "Silence and the simplest utterances often speak in discrete and subtle ways. My poem, Nothing Happened, seeks to take these silences and utterances and place them firstly in a narrative of childhood and illness, and secondly to be the primary ways of communication in such a narrative."

molly-garbutt-2 med

Molly Garbutt is currently a student at Hereford Sixth Form College, and hopes to go on to study Veterinary Medicine at university. Born in Stirling and brought up in Worcestershire, she has been shortlisted for several poetry and prose competitions, including the COMPAS Schools Prize for Poetry. She has an avid interest in Classics and enjoys utilising this in her work. She is also currently writing her first novel for young adults while studying Biology, Chemistry, Physics and English Literature.

What inspired my poem?  It partially stemmed from a discussion with my Biology teacher about medical school, and dissecting cadavers; and, partially, from my love of writing about the supernatural. From that, my poem took root very easily.

Conor McKee

Conor McKee comes from Kent and studies English literature at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. Poetry has been a significant force in his life since childhood when his parents frequently read to him. He was first encouraged to write poetry at the school creative writing society. In 2012 he won the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award and was subsequently commended in 2013. He also gained second prize in the Young Persons section of the Ledbury Poetry Competition in 2012. His critical interests are focused on late medieval and modernist verse.

Note about my inspiration for I Will Not Cut for Stone. "After discovering how many people at my school intended to study Medicine at university, I considered how difficult a path it must be. This poem expresses my own fears about the life of a Surgeon and of understanding the mechanics of the human body. I did not want to see the body demystified as it is to a surgeon and realised that I would not be capable of the necessary objectivity required for the profession.”

talin-tahajian---hippocrate med-2

Talin Tahajian  is a student at Belmont High School in Belmont, Massachusetts (USA). Her work has been recognized by the Robert Creeley Foundation, the Basil Bunting Poetry Awards, Sierra Nevada College, Hollins University, Brigham Young University, Gannon University, The Boston Globe, the National YoungArts Foundation, and the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Her poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in PANKHobartWord RiotWashington Square Review, and elsewhere. She currently serves as a poetry editor for The Adroit Journal, and plans to attend the University of Cambridge in the autumn, where she will study English literature at Sidney Sussex College.

She said: "Dream in which...was inspired by both my maternal and paternal grandfathers' experiences with lymphoma, one of whom passed away after going into remission for several years. The piece attempts to explore both the physical and metaphysical effects of this cancer by juxtaposing the perspective of an evidently younger speaker with the implied wisdom of the poem's subject."

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