An interview with Vedika Upadhyay – Belfast High School – Winner of the 2020 Seamus Heaney Award for Achievement

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.

Vedika Upadhyay – Belfast High School

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).

weekly-logo
artist forms link
New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.