A Year 11 pupil and budding poet at Ealing school, St Augustine's Priory has clinched first prize at the prestigious T.S Eliot Shadowing Prize Competition.
Ridhi Thukral was awarded the top prize after submitting a 500 word essay in support of Daljit Nagra, a professional poet and teacher who was nominated for the T.S Eliot Poetry Prize. Ridhi, a pupil of the independent Catholic girls' school, was inspired by the poet when he visited the school's English department and led a poetry workshop.
The pupil's winning essay highlighted her appreciation for Nagra's "artistic scope and multi-dimensional flair", as well as his "colloquial approach." Ridhi was invited to attend the prize giving and poetry reading at the South Bank Centre.
The T.S Eliot Shadowing Prize is hosted by the Poetry Book Society in association with the English and Media Centre. The awards are aimed at pupils aged 14-19 years old, who have a flair for poetry and an appreciation for the arts.
The prize is also designed to encourage teachers and students to read new exciting poems, published that year but aren't necessarily part of the National Curriculum or set text lists.
Ridhi Thukral said: "Winning this award was a great way to begin 2014. I am passionate about poetry and literature and Daljit Nagra is someone who particularly inspires me. Having the opportunity to meet him at our school in 2012, strengthened my love of poetry and opened my eyes to a variety of styles and tones."
Congratulating Ridhi on her win, Sarah Raffray, headteacher at St Augustine's Priory said: "Ridhi is a very accomplished pupil and we are very proud that she has received this national recognition. I would also like to congratulate the other girls at the school who entered the T.S Eliot Shawdowing Prize. Poerty is an important tool in teaching and studying English language and literature. We encourage this creative discipline at the school by inviting respected authors and poets including Daljit Nagra and Faber Poet, Tom Warner, to come and mentor the girls and share their work; it's an approach that continues to inspire and encourage our pupils."
For further information please contact:
Rachel Mortell 01932 829077