A BOY’s way with words has led to him winning a national poetry award.
Michael Bourton, 12, who attends Hawarden High School, scooped the Sir John Betjeman Poetry Competition for Young People after submitting a piece inspired by his village churchyard.
His winning verses earned him a £1,000 top prize and a Eurostar trip to Paris as well as the award, after In Hawarden Churchyard captured the attention of judges in the competition for 10-13-year-olds.
Remarkably it was one of the first poems he had ever written.
Michael, who was a pupil at the Rector Drew Primary School when he penned his winning entry, said: “My primary school had a lot to do with it as they encouraged us to write poetry. I had been to Hawarden churchyard quite a lot with my nan and with the school for different events such as carol singing.
“The poem took a long time to write as I kept changing things over several weeks.
“It was really exciting to find out I had become a finalist but I was nervous as there were so many good poems. I went to the awards in St Pancras in London, which was a brilliant experience and something I will remember forever.
“I was announced as the winner on stage and couldn't believe it. I had only ever written a few poems before. I didn’t know much about Sir John Betjeman before the competition but I have learnt a lot about him since and understand how important the competition is.”
Michael, who rubbed shoulders with actor Sir Edward Fox at the awards ceremony and is saving his prize money to help pay for future university fees, is now looking towards writing another poem for the international Foyle’s poetry competition in 2014.
His English teacher at Hawarden High School, Anna Coleman, believes Michael has every chance of repeating his success and described his poem as “extraordinary”.
“I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out he had won such a wonderful competition,” she said.
“I have only taught Michael since September but he immediately struck me with his fantastic imagination.
“It was purely his own wish to do it and the way he uses language is out of this world. He did it all himself and it really is the work of someone who is masterful at creating imagery.”