The 8th of October was National Poetry Day and I started celebrations at the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Awards. The reading of the names of the 100 commended poets is my favourite part of the day, and the fact that they’re international names often leads to unintentional hilarity. Thank you China for ensuring Wang is a common surname.
This year’s winner of the most awkward name was Finn Scarr de Haas Van Dorseer. We were also taken with Finty Hunter, one can only hope that she has a pony.
This year judges, Michael Symmons Roberts and Liz Berry, had selected some choice winners and it’s always a pleasure to see such quality poetry from the younger generation. Even better to see them in new smart clothes and at he awards with their mums. There’s always a sulky goth too.
Myself and Porky the Poet chatted with winners Sophia Carney, Gaia-Rose Harper, Apollo and birthday boy Magnus Dixon. I particularly liked Kajol Marathe’s poem.
From all that youthful enthusiasm it was downstairs to the bar and the snarking. As vital to poetry as tender ego and broken dreams.
Favourite readers of the day were the ever wonderful Liz Berry and John Hegley.
There was a tale to be told in the toilet too. I went for a slash and saw an empty cubicle that had a shirt, some pants, an empty rucksack, an unopened packet of biscuits and a bottle opener with a Portugese flag on it. Just what had happened? Or perhaps it was one of Roddy Lumsden’s writing exercises?
The lager kept flowing and it was good to chat to so many poetry friends.