'Poetry helps boys be better communicators'

26 Feb 2018
PL Primary Stars

PL Writing Stars judge Caleb Femi on how the competition will aid schoolboys as they go into adulthood

When judging the poems that were submitted for the PL Writing Stars competition, one element especially pleased Caleb Femi.

Many of the 25,000 entries were from primary schoolboys and Caleb, the Young People's Laureate for London, says it is important the competition has encouraged these youngsters to express themselves through poetry. 

He believes that this will bode well for their emotional development going into adulthood.

"It's important to get boys to do a lot more literature and writing; not for the sake of writing but for the sake of understanding who they are," he says.

Lampard impressed by PL Writing Stars

"For the sake of them becoming better communicators because, as men, we are not the best at it.

"Literature is not necessarily about writing down your emotions, it might just be capturing moments.

"That's something that boys should benefit from."

Caleb was on the panel of judges that evaluated the entries and picked the winners last week.

Also on the panel were former Chelsea midfielder, Frank Lampard, and Lauren Child, the author of the Charlie and Lola series and Waterstone's Children's Laureate.

"The thing that I will take away with me from being a judge is that I am going to be a lot more aware about the younger poets," Caleb says.

"Because they have so much to offer and they need just as much nurturing as the older poets.

"To imagine that 25,000 kids across the country wrote a poem really shows there is a huge movement going on at the moment, not just in terms of a revival of poetry but also in a sense of discussing important issues."

The winners of the PL Writing Stars competition will be announced soon.

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