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Poem for children wins top prize

A published author of children’s poetry has won a worldwide competition with her poem Mustafa’s Jumper.

The Caterpillar, a junior art and literature magazine based in Ireland, awarded its annual poetry prize to Maidenhead resident Coral Rumble last month.

The quarterly magazine gives out a prize for a single unpublished poem written by an adult for children.

A published poet with three books to her name, Coral was the winner of €1,000 (£880) for her poem, which was written at Maidenhead Library  – her favourite writing haunt.

Coral said: “The poem started with the image of the abandoned jumper and it quickly became symbolic of loss and losing the belonging that a child has when they put on their school jumper and a child like Mustafa has that belonging and then loses it.

“It’s just heart- breaking.”

A former English teacher at Cox Green School, Coral has been writing poetry since childhood and her first poems were published in an anthology in 1999.

After working as a teacher and having two children, the subject matter of her poetry shifted from adult themes to those of childhood.

Regularly working in schools today on behalf of The Poetry Society, Coral is addressing the consequence of many topical issues she sees families and children facing across the world.

She said: “It’s like I’ve got two voices and I think I must have a split personality. I have a very playful voice but I also have a voice that I suppose reflects current issues and prefers to see things through the eyes of human beings.”

W Log on to the Advertiser website to read the poem.

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