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Ireland is sending its first poetry team to compete on the world stage at Brave New Voices in Atlanta. In this series, we meet the four young poets that will be making the journey to represent us on the world stage. First up is Iobhar Stokes.
Name: Iobhar Stokes
Year: Going into 6th Year
Why/how you got into poetry?
Stephen Murray, our manager came to my school during TY to do a poetry workshop.
I wanted to get involved as soon as he told us things like that the language of Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings were types of poetry.
And particularly performance poetry?
At the workshop he has us watch some videos of it which were interesting and funny.
Do you get stage fright and how do you cope with it (I know I do!)?
I do! If I know there are people to support me, I slightly get over the stage fright!
Who are your absolute favourite poets and why?
Stephen Murray and Melissa Kavanagh! They’re really the only poets I know at the moment! I’m new to liking poetry and I love all their work!
What do you think of the poetry you’re thought in school?
I hate it! I think students cannot appreciate the poetry in school as it is forced on them for exams, it takes the fun and passion out of it.
Where do you see poetry taking you?
Atlanta! That’s all I’m focusing on for the time being! 😛 I know I will gain new experiences from it.
Things that you hope to explore and challenge through poetry?
I hope to challenge my confidence levels for sure!
I can learn new ways to express myself. I want to pursue Art after school. I always find ways to express myself through drawing pictures or painting! What do your parents think of you becoming a national poetry star over night?
I think like me, they’re still having trouble processing it! It’s only now, a year later that I’m starting to get to terms!
What would you say to other young poets that are too afraid to put their words out there?
I would suggest that they show their work to maybe an English teacher who would encourage them! Even a friend! It really helped me having supportive teacher who even tried to get my whole class’ support! All they would need is to have more confidence!