06 July 2020 Share
Virtual shelves for young readers
With libraries beginning to re-open, The Poetry Society has launched a series of virtual bookshelves with reading suggestions for young people. The Poetry Society is also asking you to send in your own poetry recommendations for young readers.
This year's Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award has been more popular than ever, and many of the poems The Poetry Society has received have responded to the news. In particular, Covid-19 has sparked a poetic outpouring, with young people using poetry to grapple with changes to their daily routine, separation from their friends, and, for some, the loss of loved ones.
For some young writers, the competition may be their first experience of writing poetry, and they may well be wondering where to go next. How should they find out more about the poetry world? What could they be reading? How can they share their latest exciting poetic discovery with other like-minded young writers?
In normal circumstances, these are questions often answered by their local or school libraries. But with many schools and libraries having been closed during lockdown, The Poetry Society wanted to find an alternative way to provide this opportunity for discovery and sharing.
The Poetry Society therefore created the virtual 'shelfie' project: a collection of reading recommendations on various topics, suitable for young people. Recommendations were provided by past winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, Young Poets Networkers, and Poets in Schools. They cover a range of issues, from poetry for making sense of the climate crisis to poetry for lockdown.
It's hoped that this project will offer those new to poetry a sense of connection to the wider poetry community. And as libraries begin to open their doors again, it is hoped it will provide young people with some leads to follow up when they can once again browse physical shelves.