Claire Guest - young poet laureate 2012 to 2013
Claire was 17 when she became Young Poet Laureate and was a student at Sutton Grammar School for Girls. When Claire applied for the position of Young Poet Laureate, she wrote:
"I've been fortunate enough to make the shortlist for the past two years in the YPL competition. Seeing the other young poets perform broadened my mind with regards to poetry; for example, I’d never heard of slam poetry.
These new ideas gave me a fresh wave of passion, and I want to share this enthusiasm with other young people. Over the past year, I’ve worked to improve my poetry, making it more original and inventive. I’ve practised performing my poetry; in the past this had made me nervous, but I have now grown in confidence and enjoy reading my poems to others.
Many young people are used to the more traditional style of poetry taught in school, and whilst some like this style, it does not appeal to all, so it is important that young people are made aware of alternatives.
Many young people use art or music to express themselves, but there must be others like me, who are pretty much tone deaf and couldn’t draw to save their life – for me, poetry was the best way to condense feelings and ideas into something more tangible".