Poems in the Park shortlist

Nearly three months ago we received the last of over 650 entries to our Poems in the Park competition.

Now we’re delighted to reveal the shortlisted poets – after two rounds of rigorous assessment by a panel of judges which includes a best-selling author, one of TV’s most respected presenters, a published poet and RAF pilot, two magazine editors, and teachers and writers who are members of the Friends of Richmond Park. (Pictured right: Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Sir Trevor McDonald and Paddy Hughes, three of the judges for Poems in the Park.)

The shortlist comprises 22 brilliant poems from young and adult poets in the three categories: 12 years and under, 13-18 years and 18 years plus. The poems, described as “quite amazing” by judge Sir Trevor McDonald, feature a wide range of styles and subject matter.

The competition brief invited poets to write about an aspect of Richmond Park that had inspired them. We wanted to encourage people to forge their personal creative links with the wonders, wildlife and environment of London’s favourite park.

Ancient trees, deer, acorns, the Isabella Plantation, a kingfisher, the democratisation of the Park, royalty and history, the weather and even the Park’s darker aspects came under the poets’ scrutiny and most poetic styles were represented.

Although winners, runners-up and commendations won’t be announced until early November (at an invited event in the Royal Ballet Lower School), we do know that the judges had a very difficult task in drawing up their shortlists. It’s therefore not surprising that the judging process took so long!

There are some 630 poets who sadly have not made the shortlist and we thank them for their efforts. The standard of entries was extremely high.

Below are the full shortlists for the 22 entries across the three age categories:

12 years and under

Caroline Ball, 12, Coombe Girls School.

Emilia Bryant, 11, individual entry.

Kate Davies, 11, Coombe Girls School.

Zoe Dutton, 12, Graveney School.

Maya Mortensen- Ramlill, 9, East Sheen Primary School.

Shameni Paraparan, 8, Burlington Junior School.

Edward Pearson, 8, individual entry, Colet Court.

Iris Pearson, 11, Lady Eleanor Holles.

13-18 years

Flossie Brown, 13, Graveney School.

Rosie Hall, 15, Waldegrave School.

Mustafa Majeed, 14, Tiffin School.

Adam Mirsky, 14, Tiffin School.

Daniel Myers, 13, Royal Ballet Lower School.

Louis Sutcliffe, 13, Tiffin School.

18 years +

Alan Franks

Susanna Hart

Patricia Moore

Graham Pugh

Valerie Purcell

Chris Rice

Michael Watts

Peter Woan