Young Poets

Published here are some of the excellent poems we receive from our gifted young writers.

You can submit poems either by post (please enclose a stamped address envelope for reply), via our on-line portal, or by email to Please mark the contents ‘Young Poet Submission’, put this in the subject line if you are submitting by email, and put your name, age and address on each page of the submission.

Please submit no more than four poems. You should be aged between 16 and 25 years, the work should be unpublished. 

More information about submitting your poetry

Saul Grenfell

Saul Grenfell

Rain and cheer

Innocence darted through streets alone,
hair dancing in the rush of it
amid dense smells and bids and cumin and saffron
little lungs a-panting.

Now, with top button stiffly done,
greying hair flattened and combed.
Through split roads, with rain and cheer,
he puts out a foot, heel-toe, heel-toe;
heel-toe, heel-toe.

His breath quickens as he wonders.
Is this trembling hand,
with pageantry and sword,
the same as the hand those years ago,
pinching dates and syrup, from angry sellers,
little lungs a-panting?

two hundred and forty-nine

we’ve been waiting for you
haven’t we
hanging snug up in there for months
we chose from dozens of flats
all for you
kitchen stocked
self-help books read
pampers bought
plastic gloves

your mum
obs + gynae
flashes of blue
and beeps
and flashes
and shouts
and flashes
and the rubbing of plastic gloves
and flashes
we had a room
stained blue curtain
blood-spotted floor
all for

your uncle
bless him
made you a cot
bit of a diy fanatic
quite sweet really
excess plywood trimmed
with licks of paint
for a mobile so your little eyes
could stare and gaze
only green paint was left
i’m afraid
so the lambs look a little poorly
but i’m sure you won’t mind;
he tried

they tried.
drowned in panic
but i promise
through hands squeezing
and cramps wheezing
they tried

now packing your books up
off to somewhere else
to gather dust
and god knows what we’ll do
with the bloody puree

the internet
god i envy your naivety
the internet
i can’t do this
the internet
why do i even
the internet says that
one in
two hundred and fifty
infants don’t
the internet
never mind

oh darling
why did you have to be the one

Sidney Lawson

Sidney Lawson

The First Affair

I rinse my hands of the way your skin felt,
Brush my teeth thinking of how you tasted.
The soap’s scent is reminiscent of your
Intense fragrance, something I won’t forget

In a hurry. I remember the sight
Of you in that red dress, the slight gasps you
Made as my fingers danced up the knuckles
Of your spine. Do you recall the way you

Whined as we made this bed a spinning world
Of sweat and kisses and love? – Do you not
Think about what we carved out of this life
Together? Now as I lay here with her,

Tall clouds darkening above the towns we
Danced in, places my wife never went to,
I fear your face is fading from my thoughts –
I fear you were just the first in my den of lies.


Listen. This deathbed’s bedsheets reek of piss.
You kiss my wrists and feel my heart’s arrhythmic beat.
You weep. I laugh. Distantly, I can hear
Music. All’s left is memories of melodies –

I remember the crescendo of your new-born
Shriek, the way the chords progressed until you dribbled
Prose at my feet, rose, soprano, contralto, verse,
Vibrato, staccato… This sudden cadence

Seems unfair, but what’s worst is your wordless
Goodbyes, performed with piano arpeggios,
And heard through distant shrouded hallway cries –
And the knowing – You’ll love me while the beat dies.

More Young Poets

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Cecilia Padilla

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Abi Skeldon

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Sidney Lawson

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Catriona Sutherland

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Heather Hughes

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Jessica Brown

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Mai Wallace

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Mrityunjay Dixit

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Jen Hughes

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Isaac Silver

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Jane Yarnell

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