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.”
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.