Event date: 07 February, 2019 · Performing Arts Centre

Poetry Festival 2019 with judge Daljit Nagra

Arts, Drama, Events, General, Performance, Senior School, Sixth Form

Putney's annual Poetry Festival was this year judged by our returning Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra.

Putney’s annual Poetry Festival took place on Thursday 7 February at 6pm. 

This year we had 54 finalists across Years 7 – 13 all of whom were given the opportunity to present highlights of their work in front of prize-winning poet and Putney’s previous Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra. A winner and runner-up was awarded in each age group and there were prizes for the two best readings on the night.

This year’s festival was dedicated to Kate Fereday, a much loved former teacher at Putney High School.

A published booklet of all the finalists’ poems was given to everyone attending the festival.

Year 13 Winning Poem



a girl is given a gun.


blossoms in her gut, roses in her lungs – you can breathe again.

a girl is a gun.


thorns in her heart, ivy wrapped around her bones – you are free at last.

a gun is a girl.

warm, gun-metal grey, honey on her tongue touch – you lost.

a girl is given a gun is given life is death is a gun is a girl.

now shoot.


By Rosie Kent, Year 13


Comment by Daljit Nagra:

Bang is a wonderfully discontinuous poem that swivels its tense drama through fractured narrative, a series of organic images and willed metaphors that aim to shock. The disrupted grammar and broken logic intensify the threat of a girl about to shoot a gun or become explosive as the impact of a shot gun. Terrifying yet superbly playful.”

The winners were:

Year 7 – “Winter” by Sophia S

Year 8 – “Absence” by Lara G-J

Year 9 – “A Tale of Romeo and Juliet” by Annie T

Year 10 – “Toad Becomes Toad” by Alexandra B

Year 11 – “Hobie’s Antiques” by Polly C

Year 12 – “Tess” by Anna C

Year 13 – “Bang” by Rosie K


Highly commended were:

Year 7 – “Braces” by Fiya H

Year 8 – “Blood on the Plains” by Natalija A

Year 9 – “Ode to Fulham” by Grace T

Year 10 – “A Girl of the Past” by Govhar D

Year 11 – “Grandpa’s Chair” by Lara S

Year 12 & 13  – “Tess” by Anna C


The winners of the two “Best Readings” on the evening were:

Anna M in Year 12 and Hannah K in Year 9


Well done to the many worthy winners and to all our extremely accomplished poets.

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