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We were all so pleased to hear of the success of Jamie in Year 10 in being selected as a finalist in the National Black History Month Poetry Competition.

Jamie’s poem, celebrating the skill and determination of Toni Morrison—a writer introduced to students as part of the Elizabethan programme in Year 9—was selected as one of the top three poems entered into the Competition by Key Stage 4 students across the U.K. The theme of the competition was “Saluting Our Sisters”, intended to celebrate the achievements and talents of Black women. As part of Black History Month at Wilson’s, all students were encouraged to enter our internal competition.

Jamie’s outstanding achievement—the competition had over 3,000 entries and the winners were selected by Joseph Coelho, the Children’s Laureate 2024 – meant that Jamie was invited to a reception at the House of Commons last week. As part of this Jamie was able to tour the building; he watched a debate in the House of Commons taking place and even recognised the Archbishop of Canterbury!

Jamie and his family then attended the reception celebrating the finalists in the competition, hosted by Marsha Chantal de Cordova, MP, where the success of all the shortlisted writers was celebrated. Jamie also received an impressive trophy, which you can see here. Congratulations again to Jamie. We hope his success will inspire even more emerging Wilson’s writers to enter poetry competitions. Next term, Literary Society will focus on the Stephen Spender Poetry in Translation prize—perhaps you, too, could be a national poetry champion!

Toni Morrison

Red hot molten metal
That could scar the skin for life.
Lumps of iron that refuse to mould
Under even the most powerful blows.

From the trauma that hangs over 124 Bluestone Road
To Pecola’s adoration for Shirley Temple,
Toni’s armour is frightening, admirable and beautiful;
As the armourer bends raw iron into shiny cuirasses
That both dazzle in their beauty
And defend the soldier from attack,
Toni Morrison forms crude words into language,
Never letting it be tarnished by the wind and rain.

Jamie, Year Ten

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