10 October 2023

Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award

Huge congratulations to Frank Qi who is one of the top 15 winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award.

Photo by Hayley Madden

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Huge congratulations to Frank Qi (Upper Sixth) who is one of the top 15 winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award.

This year saw an astounding 6,600 young poets aged 11-17 from 119 countries enter 15,800 poems to the competition. Entries were received from every postcode area in England, and from throughout Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Poetry Society announced the top 15 winners and 85 commended poets in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2023 at a special celebration at Shakespeare’s Globe, London. Frank attended the special celebration ceremony where he was able to read his winning poem ‘Hometown Eulogy’.

All the winners will receive further mentoring opportunities and are invited to attend a residential writing course at the Arvon centre to focus on improving their poetry and establishing a community of writers. The top 15 poems will also be published in a printed winners’ anthology (also available online) from March 2024.

Well done to Frank on this fantastic achievement. Read Frank’s poem below.

Hometown Eulogy

i ask my father where home is

and he tells me it is

Jinan, the city of springs.

here, April sheen

frames the waterlily bulbs like

a gold filament painting.

the sky stays


after midnight.

south of the river, i grow up

wrapped in a red flag. the fabric

stiffens my tongue and

teaches me to speak

in idioms. when he asks me

in return, i tell him

that i remember home

falling like rain on a

bruised London afternoon. in the

back of a Wetherspoons, my sister

tells me home is shaped like

a plastic bag. she tells me home

is minding the gaps,

home is the Bakerloo line, northbound,

with two stops to go. home

is how my lips yield

when i grieve that

i will never

belong. i ask my mother

where home is

and she tells me it is

the ache sewn

into the strokes

of my name. and if

i pick out the stitching with

my fingernails and find

again where i began,

home is somewhere

between the seats of this empty plane.

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