Priory Post 155 – Poetry Prize

Posted: 28th August 2015

Poetry Prize

Mr Elder wins national poetry competition

We are pleased to announce that Mr Neil Elder, a member of the St Augustine’s Priory English Department, is a winner of the national poetry prize, the Cinnamon Press Poetry Pamphlet Prize. His collection of poetry, ‘Codes of Conduct’ will be published by the Cinnamon Press in February 2016.  The Cinnamon Press is a well-regarded, thriving publishing house, now in its tenth year.


As one of the teachers in the English Department, Neil Elder has been instrumental in encouraging poetry to flourish at the school, inviting the poet Tom Warner to run workshops at the school for senior students and this year producing the third in a series of booklets of poetry by pupils, ‘Poems from the Priory’.


The 2013 edition of Poems from the Priory

Mr Elder said, ‘It is enormously satisfying to have work validated in this way.  The process of writing poetry is a slow one that requires patience, particularly in the editing and refining of pieces.  Ultimately it helps oneself and hopefully readers make a little more sense of the world we live in’.

Mrs Sarah Raffray, Headteacher, commented, ‘This is wonderful news.  It is so important that poetry is being written and celebrated and here is another stunning example of the force of words and thought’.

Of his work with students Neil Elder says, ‘Showing students there are avenues to explore beyond school, that all these things we say, about proofreading and editing – the craft of writing – we know they are true.  Each word is pored over time and again and has to hold its place’.


Students at a Tom Warner workshop

The Cinnamon Press Poetry Pamphlet Prize was adjudicated by Ian Gregson, poet, author and Emeritus Professor in the School of English Literature at Bangor University, North Wales.

Congratulations Mr Elder, we look forward to the publication of ‘Codes of Conduct’ and also to the latest edition of Poems from the Priory which will be available to purchase at our Summer Arts Evening on Tuesday 30th June.


Categories: Senior