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‘Writing gets out my thoughts and emotions’

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Teen poet Alys Webber’s advice to others: you can’t win if you don’t take part.

She came top in her age group in this year’s Teen Advisory Board poetry competition, an annual event organised by Bermuda National Library’s Youth Services.

Alys opted to read her poem ‘Trapped’, aloud at this month’s prizegiving.

It took form from the free association and rewrites that the 12-year-old Saltus student learned from her creative writing teacher,

The Royal Gazette’s Jessie Moniz.

“I’ve written poetry before, I just thought, ‘Why not enter? I might not necessarily win, but I can see how people like it’.”

English teacher Phillip Wakefield also suggested she give the competition a shot.

“Writing gets out my thoughts and emotions,” said Alys, who has kept daily journals since she was a primary school student.

“Some people are good at Spanish, some people like maths, for me, it’s writing.”

For her, conjuring up a poem often starts with improvising from a single word.

The Teen Advisory Board challenged students between the ages of 11 and 13 and 14 and 18, to create poems on one of four themes: spring, locked in a box, new student and Friday.

Locked in a box prompted thoughts of being trapped within herself for Alys. Her parents, Ross and Sarah Webber, suggested changes and she went to work.

She was elated weeks later, to get an e-mail informing her of her win.

Alys stores ideas and sketches for stories on her laptop and dreams of taking her hobby further.

“I want to be an author,” the St George’s resident said. “Sometimes lying in bed I think up stories, and sometimes I just write different words and see what sounds good together.”

Her winning poem ‘Trapped’ reads:

I run against the wall / Heart beating quickly as I fall / I can never escape this box / With no less than a million locks.

The air escapes my lungs / I hear voices speaking in a thousand tongues / I feel consumed, I feel like dying / On you there is no point in relying.

Though this box holds my fate / Plans, I continue to contemplate / If I beat against the door, with care / It will only be a waste of air.

I try to scream, I try to shout / It seems like there is no one about / I really would prefer to die / As I continue to sob and cry.

No one cares if I am here / It seems like there is no one near / I sigh and take one last breath / I stare around me, right and left.

My voice no more / Sounds, no more / Movement, no more / I am gone.

Useful website: www.bnl.bm.

Poetry prize winner Alys Webber
Poetry prize winner Alys Webber (Photo by Glenn Tucker).

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Published May 13, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 13, 2013 at 12:02 am)

‘Writing gets out my thoughts and emotions’

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