2017 Keats-Shelley Young Romantics Prize Winners

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The winners of 2017's Keats-Shelley Young Romantics and Senior Prizes were announced by the Prize Chair, Baroness Floella Benjamin, at the Royal Society of Antiquaries on 24th May.

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The evening was introduced by Rt Hon Matt Hancock, MP, Minister for Culture and Digital Culture, and ended with a reading by Sir Bob Geldof of two sonnets by John Keats, 'On First Looking into Chapman's Homer' and 'To One Who Has Long Been in City Pent.'

2017 Young Romantics Essay Prize

The winner of 2017's Young Romantics Essay Prize is Daniel L. Shailer with ‘Guilt in Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ (£700). Daniel is 17 and currently studying in London. He was born in Hong Kong and lived in Singapore and Switzerland before moving to the UK.

The runners-up are Ella Nowicki, ‘On Nature and Ruins’, and Isabella Welch with her essay on ‘On Romantic Death'.

2017 Young Romantics PoetryPize

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The winner of 2017's Young Romantics Poetry Prize is Tallulah Lefkowitz with The Step of Two (£1000). Tallulah is 16 years old and lives in Northern California. She spends her time dancing, writing and studying. Her ambition is to earn a degree in political science and work in public policy.

Second Prize Saskia Gardam with Tea for Two (£500). Saskia lives in West Sussex and is studying English Literature, Theology, Biology and Latin for A Level. She is preparing to enrol at Cambridge to read English this year. Her special interests lie in Renaissance Literature.

The shortlisted poets are:

Farah Ghafoor: The Rose Heart

Laura Honey: To Miss

Laura Mugford: It is OK

Lucy Tiller: To a Friend

Francesca Weekes: To a Friend

Rhiannon Williams: Ah Pablo


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2017's Keats-Shelley and Young Romantics Prize Winners and Shortlisters

Shortlist Biographies


Ella Nowicki is in her second year at Madison East High School in Madison, Wisconsin. With strong interests in the history of art and literature, she has been recognized by the Poetry Society in the 2015 Timothy Corsellis Young Critics Prize and by the humanities competition MIT Inspire, in which she was awarded first prize in Art and Architecture for research on Victorian photography and tourism in Sicily.

Isabella Welch is 18 years old and studying at Bristol Grammar School.


Farah Ghafoor is editor-in-chief at Sugar Rascals and has had poems published in Ninth Letter, alien mouth, and Big Lucks, among others. Her work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest, and Alexandria Quarterly Emerging Artists and Writers Award. She believes that she deserves a cat.

Laura Mugford is 18 years old and currently studying Musical Theatre at the University of Chichester. She has a passion for classical art, ancient history and writing, and takes great pride in having extensive knowledge about Harry Potter.

Lucy Tiller is currently at sixth form in the midlands, hoping to study English at the University of Cambridge in the autumn. In 2016 she was a Commended Foyle Young Poet and, earlier this year, KS5 winner of First Story's National Poetry Competition. Aside from writing, she is also really interested in theatre, playing the flute and feminism.

Rhiannon Williams is a young poet currently studying in London, wrestling with time in order to fit in the hours needed for development as a writer around A levels, while finding continued inspiration from all the great city. The poetry that she is currently reading is the work of Marina Tsvetaeva, Anne Carson, Warsan Shire and W.H. Auden, who inspire her with their experimental and innovative use of forms both traditional and post-modern.

Judges Panel

The Chair of Judges is Baroness Floella Benjamin.

Poems: Matthew Sweeney & Jo Shapcott

Essays: Professor Simon Bainbridge & Professor Sharon Ruston

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