Holocaust Poetry Competition

This year as part of Holocaust Memorial Day we invited students to enter a poetry competition.

Poetry can be incredibly powerful. During the Holocaust and other genocides, those persecuted wrote poetry to express their feelings of loss, suffering and hope.

Survivors wrote poetry afterwards as a response to their experiences.

Writing, reading and sharing poetry can be a creative way to bring people together, even if you are not able to physically join together.

We were overwhelmed with the fantastic response to this competition and with so many entries, our job to judge the winners was extremely difficult. Everyone who entered should be proud of themselves as all the poems had something unique and interesting to offer.

Seven runners-up were chosen for their poems that were all authentic, emotive and moving. The poems explored the theme in an original way and reflected an unflinching and compelling take on what it means to be the light in the darkness. They were rhythmic, joyful, and tenderly piercing. Congratulations – Bhoomija (Yr8), Samragee (Yr9), Nidhi (Yr8), Lucy (Yr9), Shreya G (Yr7), Eryena (Yr8) and Usmi (Yr7).

It was too difficult to choose a single winner for this competition, so we narrowed it down to two but could not choose between them. Huge congratulations go to Xuan in Year 10 and Koyenum in Year 8.

Xuan’s poem was moving and explored the other side of being the light for others. It explored the difficulty of slicing through one’s own darkness, in a daring, vulnerable and authentic manner. It was skillfully written rhythmically beautiful.

Koyenum’s powerful poem combined hope with historical urgency in her exploration of what it had meant for individuals to be the light throughout historical injustices and what it means to be the light today. It was clear-voiced and rich with historical awareness, thought and emotion.

Many thanks to Miss Akcay and Ms Kattirtzi for judging the competition.