Orwell wrote extensively about the power of words. When used for political reasons, language can be dangerous: it can turn anyone you don’t agree with into a sub-human monster. But because it is often absurd, political language is also ripe for satire. In 2020, we teamed up the Young Poets Network to challenge young people to explore political language in their poetry, in the 75th year of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Teachers can find a new teaching resource on this theme here.
This challenge is now closed. Congratulations to the winners, whose poems you can read through the links below. Congratulations, too, to the longlisted poets whose work impressed the judges: Dale Booton, Spencer Chang, Jack Cooper, Eleanor Dakin, Laura Hankins, Elsie Hayward, Diya Kandhari, Katie Kirkpatrick, Abigail Marett, Marina McCready, Sophie Norton, Tanya Singh, Alexa Stevens, Rena Su, Ellora Sutton and Ploy Techawatanasuk.
I Lost My Innocence in a Hospital Room, and No-One Handed It In (Hannah Hodgson)
IN WHICH PAPA (A SAILOR) GOES DEAF (Irma Kiss Barath)
Through the Lens of @realDonaldTrump: A Decade of Twitter Politics (Divya Mehrish)
so you want to talk about the ap*calypse (April Egan)
What I Learnt from Reading the News (Hannah Aston)