The National Poetry Award for children, which raises money for Dr Barnardo’s, has been won for the first time by a boy.
Twelve year old Antonio Mo, a pupil at St Martin’s School in Northwood, wrote his poem, The Bottle Fish in response to the theme of The Sea.
The judges included Tatiana Wilson, Founder of the People’s Book Prize, BBC presenter John Gillmore, Andy Seed, a winner of the Blue Peter Book Award, Mickey Bradley from The Undertones, Claire Young, an Apprentice Finalist, as well as a number of other authors, poets and editors.
He has been invited to join these judges next year, an honour which he is delighted to accept. Antonio Mo received first place out of over 2300 entries from Edinburgh to Cornwall.
Eleven year olds Taaj Shah, Anish Lingam and Kemji Munro-Lall were also selected to have their poems published in the anthology, which will raise money for Dr Barnardo’s. Taaj reached the top ten selection. Christina Gabbitas said, “It’s children helping children.”
Award winning author, Christina Gabbitas presented Antonio with a canvas of his poem in assembly at St Martin’s School on Wednesday 6th June when he read out his poem. All four boys received certificates and a poetry book.
Afterwards Christina spoke to all the pupils in Years 2, 4, 5 and 6.
Antonio said, “I was delighted when I found out that I had won. The BBC Deep Blue II inspired me to write my poem about plastic pollution, a world-wide problem. The presentation of a canvas copy of my poem at St. Martin’s School was an amazing experience.”
Eleven year old Kemji said, “I was amazed when I found out that my poem was selected for the anthology. During the exciting presentation at our school, I read out my poem and received a book of poetry.”