Shrewsbury School

Creative Writing Society President wins prestigious Poetry Prize

Friday 17 September 2021

The President of our Creative Writing Society was crowned the winner of the prestigious nationwide Young Romantics Prize on Thursday night. 

Eustacia F (UVI, M) was announced as one of the winners The Keats-Shelley Memorial Association’s 2021 Young Romantics Poetry and Essay prizes. 

Eustacia was announced as a shortlisted entrant earlier this month, and was declared winner by the Chair of the Judging Panel, Simon Barnes.


Eustacia (pictured far right) with other members of the Creative Writing Society

James Fraser-Andrews, English teacher in charge of Creative Writing, said: “Eustacia has been a driving force of the Creative Writing Society ever since Fourth Form. She so richly deserves this prize for all the creative leadership she has shown in the society as its president, and in the perseverance and determination she brings to her own craft, honing her impressive natural gifts, and shaping a wonderfully inventive and distinctive voice. So many pupils have been inspired by her during Thursday afternoon activities: I am thrilled that she has now been recognised for her writing on a national stage. She fizzes with enthusiasm for writing – and I can’t wait to read her debut novel that’s currently under way!”

Deputy Head (Academic) Dr Richard Kowenicki, added: "It is wonderful to see how we nurture academic talent in the classroom can lead to such magnificent achievements outside the classroom. Congratulations to Eustacia on this outstanding award, which I know she has worked hard for. I hope that she and all Salopians continue to put themselves forward for fantastic opportunities like this."

Award-winning poetry judge Will Kemp described Eustacia’s poem: “An effective and imaginative poem with rich imagery and variety by an accomplished story-teller with a keen eye for detail and an ability to thread a neat narrative between an engaging opening and a confident ending.” 

Congratulations Eustacia! 

The Sixth Former’s poem, A Craftsman’s Tale, can be read below: 

A Craftsman’s Tale I used to own a star-strewn sky. I could hollow tales  

Out of a craftsman’s eye, and draw his sorrows  

With a pail out of a haunt well, filled with darks  

And distortions and echoes of fruit-flies. His limp  

Told his glories in war, or his chivalrous battles  

For his fairy bride, or a venture afar, onto the peaks  

Of the Himalayas, where he tiptoed to glean  

From the moon’s surface, a speck of dust, 

Gossamered with legends from lonesome times,  

And hid it in his trouser pocket for his sweetheart.  

 

Each night I lay under the heaven, and with a misted gaze  

I picked the brightest stars and scissored them out  

And sewed them together with other evening fires; or knelt  

Just below the waterline, in search of the dreamiest lustre  

A pearl could shine, and gathered all of them and piled them  

Into a stream of diamond rays, with crystal reeds and eddies 

 And fish sculpt in ice. But as the sun hovered past,  

Those scenes smoked away, till all that remained were  

A piece of paper and a pencil stump. And I seemed to see  

More to suffering, than a tear from an aching eye. 

 

 Away from the glow worms, exhaust smokes vex the night.  

From the aquarium-like houses, there stare  

Grins and grimaces and vacant brows.  

Children stealing crumbs from the table cloth.  

A splat and a clatter, as the mother squashes a fly.  

The father slamming the door, it takes twice to have it shut.  

An array of dirty dishes, as the hosepipe goes Drip, drip, pause, drip drop.  

Stove burning low… The paper-crafted stars, the conch-crafted moons,  

In water they all came, in water they’ll all go. 

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