When did you first become interested in poetry
I probably became interested in poetry after starting to properly study it in secondary school. While we looked at poetry in primary school it never drew my interest until I was able to sit down and try writing poetry of my own in year eight. I’ve always liked writing creatively so learning that I could to the same in poetry was really exciting!
What was your experience like having a professional writer come to your class
It was a fabulous experience having a professional writer come in to our school. The way in which she spoke to us all about different ways in which we could write and express ourselves was brilliant. I really appreciated that we were all given a chance to share our ideas with each other. The constructive feedback we received definitely helped me improve both my writing and my confidence.
What was the inspiration for the poem “Hyacinth”
My poem Hyacinth was inspired by an ancient Greek myth of a boy named Hyacinth. When the god Apollo accidentally killed him, he was turned into a flower. The idea of someone turning into a flower had always seemed poetic to me, so when I was searching for themes I could write about the story came to mind fairly quickly. I thought it could be intriguing to try and tell the story of both Hyacinth the boy and a hyacinth flower in the same poem.
How did you feel when you won the Seamus Heaney Award for Achievement
I was extremely shocked and surprised when I found out that I won! I was astonished to have been able to write something with the potential to win an award. Although it took me by surprise, I can honestly say that winning this award has made me want to write even more and see what I can do if I keep on writing.
Watch Conor Shields introducing the Seamus Heaney Award for Achievement below (Vedika reading her poem starts at 7:33).