National poetry prize for Old Oakhamian

Old Oakhamian Holly Singlehurst (12) has won national recognition in The Poetry Society’s 39th National Poetry Competition.  Holly was one of seven commended poets in this prestigious competition, selected from an astounding field of entries that included 12,580 poems from 73 countries!

”It’s an honour to have my work recognised in the National Poetry Competition,” says Holly, aged 23,  “especially as this is my first poem to be published.”  After studying Music, English Literature, and Philosophy at Oakham School, Holly went on to read English Literature and Music at Birmingham University, and later went on to complete a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing.

Established in 1978, the Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition is one of the world’s biggest and most respected poetry contests. Winners include both established and emerging poets, and for many the prize has proved an important career milestone. Previous winners include the current UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Tony Harrison, Ruth Padel, Philip Gross and Jo Shapcot.

Judges Moniza Alvi, Gerry Cambridge and Jack Underwood chose ten winners overall. Stephen Sexton was awarded first prize for his poem ‘The Curfew’, with Caleb Parkin’s ‘The Desktop Metaphor’ coming in second, and T.L. Evans’ ‘Detuned Radio’ being awarded third prize. Holly’s poem, ‘Hiroshima, 1961’, is one of the shortest poems to have ever placed in the competition. 

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