UEA FLY Festival 2019 Competition Winner 12-14 yr olds and Overall Winner – Rebekah Bongers

Ink Sweat & Tears is, once again, the proud supporter of today’s Poetry Day at UEA’s Festival Of Literature for Young People (FLY)  and we are also very pleased to be able to bring you the winners of 2019’s writing competition which this year was exclusively devoted to Poetry.  The theme was a poem of any length beginning with the word ‘Afterwards’.

Judges Jeremy Noel-Tod, Lewis Buxton and Jos Smith received so many poems that they had long discussions before deciding the final winners.

The winner of the 12–14 category and the overall winner is: Rebekah Bongers from Reigate Grammar School.




After the party.
Cups shoved into plastic bags.
Balloons let down, discarded.
Empty packets line the swelling bin.

The next morning.
Rubbish truck shunts into view.
Bags swung in.
Drives off to next collection.

Truck overloaded.
So much waste for one area.
Pulling into temporary home.

Seagulls screech in excitement.
Rubbish pours onto the heap.
Soon torn apart by crazed birds.
Mountains of waste.

Plastic bottles crushed together.
Small packets roll around.
Plastic bags blow everywhere.
Straining to be free.

Several bags escape.
Spread everywhere.
One is caught by a crying gull.
Another is blown into a forest.

One falls into the sea.
Tossed by large waves.
Travels far and wide.
A painful trap.

Shoals of fish swerve in unison.
Sharks avoid the bright plastic..
Turtle swims to it cautiously.

What happens afterwards?
We kill animals.
We put that bag in the bin.
Think twice.


The runner up in the 12-14 yr old category is Megan Valerie-Cooke from Wymondham High Academy.

The winning poem for the 15-18 yr old group will be featured on IS&T tomorrow and the runner up announced.

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Edward Alport





I once grew old,
And my senses vanished one by one.
The day came
When I could not taste pomegranates,
The next, I could not hear
The wind clonking in the rigging.
The seashore felt like a surging slug.
Pylons lost their fascination.

Take me to the city.
Feed me its electric shadows.
Give me spikes.
Wire my ribcage to a generator.
I am living in a fog,
And my only signposts
Are the craving for the taste of chocolate
And the tang of spicy sausage.

It must be the sun,
The colours in the market place.
The scent of peaches,
The chillies glowing like Christmas lights.
Where sausages are the symbol
Of a rich, ripe old age,
And chocolate is the elixir of youth.



Edward Alport is a teacher and occasional writer who occasionally gets published. When he has nothing better to do he posts snarky micropoems on Twitter as @cross_mouse.

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Sarah Miell





I am downstairs in the kitchen,
my school clothes are cold on me.
l pull at a drawer, I open a cupboard.
I think you are asleep upstairs.

I set my bowl and spoon on the table.
I see the cereal in a pool of milk.
I move the sugar bowl and hear it scrape.
I think you are asleep upstairs.

I flatten the left side of my ribs
to the ribs of the radiator.
I tight-rope walk my soles along the pipe,
I picture you asleep upstairs.

I hold the metal spoon in my teeth.
I hold the silence like a wanted gift.
I have thirty minutes before me fat with breathing,
until the radio calls my name with your voice.



Sarah Miell lives in the UK and her hobbies are cuddling her cat and taking long baths

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L.B. Jørgensen



Up in the Air

Do you have any legroom up front,
what is the view like from your seat
and do you know the atmosphere;
can you tell cumulus from cirrus?

Have you heard of the supercooled drops
which at high altitudes, sub-zero temperatures
remain stubbornly liquid, perfectly balanced?
Sitting here, in seat 25A, I feel like one.

I watch the shade we drape across fields,
see a small cloud pass underneath us
and for one liminal instant
it agrees perfectly with the dark splash

of its shadow, and have you ever
met someone and felt like that
your odd, lumpy shapes
matching each other?



L.B. Jørgensen lived in England for several years before returning to her native Denmark, where she works as a translator. She has had poems published in Poetry Salzburg Review, Under the Radar and The North.

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William Kemp




Manuel, The Unfortunate
after Paula Rego’s Last King of Portugal

Both sides of the story of your death
involve striped pyjamas, a maid and the deep rich red
of your bedroom wallpaper. Was your outpost
at Fullwell, Twickenham, private and secure enough
to keep at bay those Republican activists
who might by various means have poisoned you?
Or can we assume you over-exerted yourself
one too many times at tennis, and in so doing
activated some hereditary bronchial condition,
hitherto undetected, with fatal consequence?
None at Scotland Yard had strength or means
to piece together the evidence either way.
Good night, sweet prince.
Let acrylic, graphite and pastel on paper,
mounted on aluminium, be your epitaph.



William Kemp is a poet, broadcaster and arts professional from Plymouth, who works for the Dartington Hall Trust. He has written articles and reviews on a range of subjects, including jazz, folk and classical music, modern poetry and Shakespeare. He presents and produces a weekly arts show for Soundart Radio.

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Jessica Sneddon




Notes on Architects

Gold lambs’ tails on hazel    break the pause

anticipate the Equinox

dipper flies, a white spark over Rothay
lands at the curve, pilfers
a swatch of moss, returns
up-river. North

a pair of grey wagtails, dart
yellow switch of flight, hurdle
over wire fence, descend
onto chains of mole-prints
ferret the dark, rich earth
parcelled with worms

by anonymous, silhouettes of soil
tossed to the surface,
displaced from the tunnels
their bodies sculpt

shreds of utterings
from beneath
the axis of the ground



Jessica Sneddon is a Masters by Research student and emerging poet. Her work focuses on hidden narratives in the natural world and the connection between micro and macro species. She has been published in Tears in the Fence.

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