Young people's poetry prize will be part of Brighton Festival 2019

Rokia Traor
Rokia Traor

The Peacock Poetry Prize returns to Brighton Festival 2019 to inspire and encourage young people across Sussex to explore the written word from a creative point of view.

This year’s competition theme is Journeys, chosen by Brighton Festival guest director Rokia Traoré.

Spokeswoman Jessica Weiss said: “The competition is open to young residents of Brighton & Hove, East and West Sussex aged between 8 and19 years. Each budding writer can enter up to three poems with a maximum length of 20 lines, with participants divided into three age groups: eight-11, 12-15 and 15-19 years.

“Finalists will be invited to a tea party and prize giving with friends and family at Brighton Dome on Thursday, May 23 at 5pm when the winners of each age category will be announced.”

Pippa Smith, Brighton Festival’s children and family producer, said: “The Peacock Poetry Prize offers a great opportunity for young people to have their writing appraised and appreciated by our panel of judges.

“The theme of journeys can be literal or abstract, whether it’s about a favourite stroll or the distance between you and your dreams, we want to walk alongside these young poets through every step of their creative imagination.”

Rokia Traoré, Brighton Festival 2019 guest director, added: “I want my journey to be a shared experience and feel responsible to share that journey with young people. Brighton Festival allows its audience to travel and learn about the rest of the world through the stories and journeys of its guests without leaving Brighton, which is extended to young people by the Peacock Poetry Prize.”

William Baldwin, principal of Brighton Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College, added: "We’re proud to be sponsoring the Peacock Poetry Prize because it allows the work of young people to be recognised and appreciated within the Festival.

“Poetry permits both its author and audience to go on a journey together, expressing their creativity and imagination. As poetry is such a universal vehicle of human expression it’s vital that we continue to nurture a love for it in the younger generation."

Entrants should send their poems, along with their name and age to: peacock@brightonfestival.org by Friday, April 12.

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