Young poet from Banbury area named as one of the best in the world

Celeste Herriotts, a year 13 student at Chenderit School, was selected by judges Maura Dooley and Keith Jarrett as one of the 85 commended poets in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020.

By Matt Elofson
Friday, 16th October 2020, 12:38 pm
Updated Friday, 16th October 2020, 12:40 pm
Celeste Herriotts, a year 13 student at Chenderit School, was selected by judges Maura Dooley and Keith Jarrett as one of the 85 commended poets in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020.
Celeste Herriotts, a year 13 student at Chenderit School, was selected by judges Maura Dooley and Keith Jarrett as one of the 85 commended poets in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020.

She was selected from more than 6,000 entrants and more than 15,000 poems this year from across the world.

In normal circumstances, Celeste and other winners would have been invited to attend a prestigious ceremony in central London. However, the ongoing situation with Covid-19 has meant that this year’s celebration was online. The ceremony took place yesterday, Thursday October 15.

Celeste said: “I feel proud to have won this poetry competition and know that this accolade will support me with my applications to university. I am thankful to Chenderit and to my English teacher, Ms Godfrey, in particular, for giving me such an opportunity.”

Sign up to our daily Banbury Guardian Today newsletter

The Award has been finding, celebrating and supporting the very best young poets from around the world since 1998. The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is firmly established as the leading competition for young poets aged between 11 and 17 years old.

From these poems, this year’s judges Keith Jarrett and Maura Dooley selected 100 winners, made up of 15 top poets and 85 commended poets.

Headteacher, Mrs Jane Cartwright, said: “Celeste’s poem is beautifully crafted – she has such a skill with words and we are delighted with her momentous achievement. We are all so proud of her and wish her well with her writing in the future.”

Celeste’s poem will be published on The Poetry Society’s website and featured on YouTube and Vimeo channels later in the year, as well as appearing in an online anthology in the spring.

Here is Celeste’s winning poem:

Blood

You are blue on the inside

and red on the outside. I know the many roads

you travel every day.

Your life is a sprint, a push, a current. Flowing through a blackhole,

its casing pulsating and fleshy.

Among your clones,

you have no control over your existence or where you go, but you flow

through someone's universe, necessary for life.

You dance with the spinning of the earth, flinging our view of the stars to blue.

I hear you.