Putney High School Student is a Foyle Young Poet of the Year

A student from Putney High School has placed in the top 15 young poets in the world, the second time the school’s pupils have been recognised in as many years.

The internationally recognised Foyle Young Poet of the Year competition recognises the best and brightest poetic work of 11 to 17 year olds. For 2022, over 6,600 young poets submitted over 13,500 entries. Over 100 countries were represented in the submissions, along with 98% of UK postcodes. 

Freya, a Year 8 GDST student, and member of Putney High’s Ink Club for aspiring young writers received special mention from the judges, with award-winning poet Mona Arshi commenting:

‘So many of the poems we read woke up the ear and gave us something we hadn’t heard before. From the “azure fathoms pummelling the shimmering sand” in Freya Madeleine Patterson’s “Anastasia’” to the aching image of “his rusty padlock breath and hollow rasps” in Eric Pak’s “An Aegean Prayer”, so many gifts were offered in their lines.’

Read Freya’s wonderful winning entry, Anastasia, below. 

Azure fathoms pummel the shimmering sand,

And a faint melodic tune threads into the salty sea air,

Almost silent, but,

You hear it.

Perhaps the seaweed-like tangled mane of scarlet escaped others,

But you, with your keen hawk eyes spot it.

Trembling fingers outstretched as you run them through the tendrils,

After proceeding up the cascade, you falter.

The skull.

A pearly white hollow husk.

Something moves.

A flurrying flinch of fingers.

And a flutter, faint as a butterfly’s wings, coming from something.

The sky black as ink.

Her skin as delicate as feathers.

Your breath as soft as smoke.

Rising, slowly, with a bemused gait morphing into a graceful lilt,

Anastasia holds you close without intimacy or beauty,

No, Anastasia is something darker.

And you, always with a remark or quip, make no sound as you go


Only one word.

Encouraging writing, poetry and creative learning at the GDST

At the GDST we actively encourage our students of all ages to explore their creativity in a variety of forms. Recently this has included creating an outdoor learning environment inspired by a beloved book at Sutton High School and engaging with GDST alumna to inspire a new crop of budding female poets at our schools.