Noa wins Wordsworth poetry prize

The winner of this year’s Wordsworth Poetry Prize for young people is 11 year old Noa Calman.

Noa, a pupil at Grasmere primary school, wrote her poem on the theme of New Beginnings following the death of her uncle in New Zealand.

The award is organised by the descendants of William Wordsworth and the presentation ceremony took place at Rydal Mount near Ambleside, the house where Wordsworth lived.

More than 100 entries were received from pupils in junior and secondary schools across Cumbria.

Noa’s father comes from New Zealand, and she loves writing and reading stories that link to Kiwi culture.

She also has a passion for baking and has applied to take part in the junior version of TV’s Great British Bake-off. She has old twin brothers Dylan and Luca, a younger sister Isla, and a baby brother Sonny.

Noa was presented with a trophy and a £50 cash prize. Her name is now on a plaque at Rydal Mount and her winning poem will be framed and displayed in Wordsworth’s sitting room at the house.

Teacher Mrs Eleanor Knowles said that the poem was Noa’s response after her uncle’s death. “It was her way of dealing with difficult emotions. She poured it out one morning at playtime, the whole poem.”

The poems were judged by Susan Wordsworth Andrew , the great great great grand-daughter of the poet, and her son, Christopher, who both attended the award ceremony organised by the curators, Emily and Matthew Heath.

The winner in the junior school section was Ambleside’s Tom Ashworth and the secondary school winner was Anna Bray from Keswick School.

Christopher said: “The standard of entries was very high once again. We are delighted to see that schools and parents are encouraging their children to read and write poetry.”

Noa’s poem:

The coffin

a coffin

lying still


across the world

a letter is flown

friends and family


while I stare

stare into the sky


whispering my last goodbye

and as if in answer

to my call

a voice I knew

a voice I knew well


while people want

to be your sun

that burns

burns through

your day

I will

be your moon

that shines

shines through

your darkest