New Writing North - Out of Bounds Poetry Project - April 2020

Two Year 8 Kingsmeadow students have received recognition for their excellent work as part of the ‘Out of Bounds’ Poetry Project, a national poetry competition for young writers.

Ruby Guilfoyle, Year 8, won joint Third Place, while George Breakspear-Dean, also in Year 8, had his work recognised as being Highly Commended.

Students aged 11-17 across the country were invited to write a poem entitled ‘In my country’. All young poets were given creative freedom, but many chose to highlight aspects of their local communities in order to express personal emotions and perspectives through their writing.

Poet and judge Malika Booker, who recently visited Kingsmeadow to work with Key Stage 3 students, said: “It was a great pleasure to read the preoccupations of young poets, and a relief to know that our future is in such thoughtful hands.”

On Ruby’s Third Place poem, head judge and award-winning poet Jackie Kay commented: “I loved this poem - how it captures a close relationship with a wonderful grandfather, how it captures the rapport between their imaginations.

“There are so many ways for the imagination to take flight. It has great tenderness to it. But also a real maturity.

“I was so impressed that this was written by a thirteen year old! The poem even acknowledges 'childhood fading away' and we feel a kind of Proustian sadness. Wonderful! It made me wish I had had a grandfather like that!”

New Writing North, who facilitated Kingsmeadow’s participation in the project, continue to work with our year 7 and 8 students, providing them with excellent opportunities to grow as independent writers.

Ruby, whose poem is published below, won a £25 book token (plus a £25 donation to Kingsmeadow’s library) and George won a £10 book token for his Highly Commended poem. Well done to both students!

Ruby Guilfoyle, In my country

I remember the smiles and the endless laughter

The blurred feet of my baby cousin

Camouflaged in the jungle at our feet

The daisies that towered as we pretended

Playing around the flowerbeds

Like little pixies floating through the summer air.

I remember the age I spent in awe as my grandad

Built the foundations of my imagination

I can tell you the exact shade of bright red

The rustic scent of the painted wood

The slick feeling of the paint on my fingertips.

It took me anywhere and everywhere

I remember the ‘five more minutes’

As we flew through the air

Jumping higher and higher

Striving for the sky

Only to land again

In a circle of blue reality.

As childhood fades away

Left in Grandad’s garden.