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Otley teenager's war poem wins top prize
An Otley teenager’s poem about the tragic waste of war has earned him first prize in an Ilkley Literature Festival competition.
Tom Fuller, 17, an upper sixth-form student at The Grammar School at Leeds, had entered his work into the festival’s Young People’s Poetry contest for Year 12 and 13 pupils.
Tom’s anti-war poem, Medal – which he had originally written for his band, The Imports – was judged to be the most thought-provoking and well constructed entry.
It earned him a book token and a copy of the poet Daljit Nagra’s book Tippoo Sultan’s Incredible White-Man-Eating Tiger Toy Machine!
Tom, who was also asked to read his poem to a festival audience, said: “I think the most important aspect of life is being able to express yourself.
“I don’t think that out of the many ways there are to do that there is any one way that is superior, but for me, music and poetry are the ways in which I feel I can make my point most effectively. I think words unsaid speak more than words said, and so the nature of poetry allows so much to be said through so little.”
Tom’s English teacher and deputy head of English at the Grammar School at Leeds, Judith Kerr, said: “Tom is a really talented poet. He has the ability to choose the most effective words and express them in very sensitive and meaningful ways.”
Tom hopes to study creative writing and English at university.