Peacock Poetry Prize

The Peacock Poetry Prize is an annual competition produced by Brighton Festival and Brighton, Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College (BHASVIC) to encourage young writers to explore the written word from a creative point of view. The aim is to get young people writing right across Sussex and encourage them to engage with the Festival’s theme. The competition is open to residents of Brighton & Hove, East and West Sussex, aged 7 -18

The theme of  2015's Peacock Poetry Prize, chosen by our Guest Director, Ali Smith, was ‘Birds’. There are three categories, for ages 7–10, 11–14 and 15–18. Read this year's finalists' entries by clicking below. 

Birdwatching: Maya Wall

summer sunboiling heatpeople crowdas flocks meetseagulls…

The Dawn Chorus: Alice Greenwood Bliss

The gulls were first to shriek white above the rooftops…

Seagulls: Scarlett Baldwin

Seagulls are the interfering king of sea birds,Bossing…

Starlings: Rosina Murray

Swooping through the air like a vast black cloud,Tittering…

Blackbird: Josie Richards

I find the black feather, fluttering down to the ground.I…

Pigeonholed - A sonnet for the birds: Olivia Sutherland

School-skirts rolled high we learn to squawk; paradeFresh…

The Boy and the Bird: Opefoluwa Sarah Adegbite

Young, brown eyes sparkled –curious and innocent…

A Ring of Choir Bells: Isabella Mason-Iran

The magnificent soar can’t be missed,as this thorough…

If Birds Could Talk: Laura Boyd

No dawn chorus

Bravebird: Georgina Clutterbuck

Bravebird make me braveLike you forever singingTruths…

Birdwatcher: Dan Grimston

A man, on the end of hisBinoculars, bound like PrometheusTo…

Me and You: Charley Lane McElroy

Me and you: twopeas in a podbirds of a featherwhether…

Heron: Rosie Day

He stands, still as the mud he perches on,Head lowered,…

Indestructible: Bethan Clark

I am a morning call, the music of dawnI am the improbable…

Migration: Celia Westwood-Dunkley

At last the soft sighs of summer’s despairFade;…

A Murder of Crows: India-Amethyst Thakrar

Sweeping Low,In the dark,Murky sky,The scent of death…

A Song by Birds: Alisha Buss

Last night I woke up,To a composition,To a piece,A…

Mend: Bea Davy-Sutherland

shed your skinlike cherry blossomlike trees in wintershow…