Sprung from Shakespeare poetry competition

During the Shakespeare400 season, King’s launched a poetry competition for young writers inspired by Shakespeare’s sonnets. Entrants were asked to pick a sonnet by Shakespeare that inspires them, and write their own poem in response.

The competition, launched on 23rd April 2016, was judged by internationally-respected poets, Gillian Clarke and Kevin Crossley-Holland and was open to all state school and academy students in London, in years 10-13. 

All shortlisted poets were invited to attend a celebratory event in central London in Autumn 2016, where prizes were awarded and the students were given the opportunity to read their poems aloud. They received a copy of On Shakespeare’s Sonnets, a new anthology of sonnet-inspired poetry by celebrated British poets edited by King's academics.

First: Lucy Thynne (Modern Summer Love)
Second: Imogen Garfinkel (It's Not Over, Not Yet)
Third: Amber Marino (Forgetting)

Josephine Skinner (His Words about Me)
Jade Leavens (Never Trust a Mirror)
Id Sotonwa (For I Cannot Seem to Comprehend)
Joe Davidson (O Sweet-Scented Fantasy)
Georgia Courtney-Fox ('I'm not going to sugarcoat this')

Highly Commended:
Zarvesha Rasool et al (Unconditional Love)
Ella Mackenzie (Love is not Love)
Chloe Cummings (What is Love?)

  • Lucy Thynne – year 10

    early august morning and we wade into the dark pacific, fingers trailing on cold light that slices against our stomachs like a child’s hands. we notice how quick the sea forgives, tongues salt on hollowed hearts in Read more...

    Grey Shakespeare
  • Amber Marino – year 10

    Rugged petals. Dry and papery. Pressed as flat, as palms on glass. Preserved between the pages, the creases and crevices etched in the yellowing parchment of her memory. ‘Fresh’ she declares. ‘as the day first picked.’ Ambling through fields. With fingers threaded, through the tender hand of her sister. Read more...

    Shakespeare in 1916
  • Id Sotonwa – year 10

    A poem inspired by sonnet 116 by Shakespeare “Love is not love” For I cannot seem to comprehend, nor want to try To understand how awkward men live and die Bound by a force so vile, by a force so weak Tremors ache in the heart while grown men weep Read more...

    Grey Shakespeare
  • Georgia Courtney Cox - Year 12

    I’m not going to sugar coat this Or woo you with false compliments in hope of a kiss Your eyes my mistress, haven’t the slightest similarity to the sun Corals are a long way from your lips, ask anyone The snow makes your breasts appear a brownish gray Unfortunately I can’t compare thee to a summer’s day I could say your hair resembles gold But the image of black wires seems more fitting Would you rather I continued or withhold? Read more...

    Grey Shakespeare