The impact of mentoring on young poets is to be explored in a new research project at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) which aims to help all young writers to develop their talent.
During the next two years, the project will investigate a rarely explored aspect of poetry writing development: the mentoring of young poets, aged 11 – 30, who were award-winning and/or highly commended entrants in The Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2012-2019, a well-established, international competition run for 20 years by The Poetry Society.
Young Poets’ Stories is being led by Dr Sue Dymoke, Associate Professor of Education at Nottingham Trent University, working alongside Dr Anthony Wilson at the University of Exeter, and is funded by The Foyle Foundation.
The project will capture the development stories of 30 young Foyle poets in the early stages of their writing, after success in the competition, through interviews and discussions of their work. The study will also use observations from a separate group of poets and their experienced poet mentors.
A series of case studies and web-based resources will be created to add to what is known about poetry writing theory and the practice of mentoring young writers.
As poets themselves, both researchers have a strong personal interest in promoting poetry in education.
Dr Dymoke said: “Ultimately, we hope that this project will encourage young writers to reflect on their work and the impact of mentoring practices used to support the development of their creative writing.
“Young Poets’ Stories is the starting point for a much larger scale piece of work, and we hope that new understandings gleaned from our research will directly benefit young writers everywhere. The opportunity to develop a voice and to explore ideas through language is a vital one which should be afforded to all young people.”
Recruitment for the study is now open for any award-winning and/or highly commended entrant in The Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2012-2019. Further information can be found on the Call for Young Poet Participants page on the Young Poets’ Stories website.