Students reveal favourite poets

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

​Using the works of modern poets with contemporary subject matter, studying shorter poems and poems with more accessible language could help to make poetry more accessible, young people have said.

A survey by The Poetry Society involving around 10,000 young writers aged 11 to 17 asked for their views on what might make poetry a more popular subject.

A quarter felt that using modern writers and subjects would help, beginning with shorter poems and more accessible language.

Furthermore, 16 per cent said that the focus in schools should be on writing poems. For many respondents, their first positive experience of poetry was the actual writing of poems in school, and so they felt that the analysis part of study should come later.

However, despite young people’s recommendations on learning more modern poetry, the survey also revealed that the top three favourite poets among the respondents were Sylvia Plath (16.9 per cent), Edgar Allan Poe (9 per cent) and Emily Dickinson (7.9 per cent). Other popular choices included, Pablo Neruda, Philip Larkin, Maya Angelou, Ted Hughes and John Keats.

The survey marks the 20th anniversary of the Foyle Award, a prestigious literary prize for young poets aged 11 to 17.

This year’s Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is receiving entries until midnight on July 31. Entries are welcome from individuals or via schools. Schools and community groups can order a free pack of anthologies and resources.

Visit www.foyleyoungpoets.org


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