Eco 'Everyday Epic' poetry

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Pigeon English! 10 year-old Niko wins Brighton poetry prize

A 10 year-old girl from Hove has won a prestigious poetry prize for her poem ‘Why do people disrespect pigeons?’.

Niko Matthews, a pupil at Brunswick Primary School in Hove, won the Peacock Poetry Prize’s new ‘eco’ category for her poem ‘

The awards are sponsored by the Brighton and Hove environmental education project(BHee), which supports teachers to use the wonderful local environment as an inspiration for teaching and learning.

Niko won a rucksack with The Living Coast logo on it, books for identifying wildlife, and a prize-winner’s mug decorated with the text ‘Keep Calm and Love Pigeons’.

She was presented with her prizes at a ceremony held at the Brighton Dome on Friday 26 May as part of the Brighton Festival.

The BHee judges were impressed with the poem’s use of vivid imagery to challenge the reader’s preconceptions of familiar wildlife, encouraging them to appreciate the ‘everyday’ biodiversity around us.

Niko wrote the poem with contributions from two school friends, Ava Bodroghy-West and Amelia Keeffe (both also 10).

The overall competition theme was “Everyday Epic”, and the new BHee award recognised pupils whose “Everyday Epic” celebrated our interaction with the natural world.

BHee judges were looking for poems in which pupils shared their experiences of the great outdoors, whether on the beach, in a local park, in their garden or school grounds, or on the Downs.

Why do people disrespect pigeons?

Why do people disrespect pigeons?
Just because they make a mess
Just because they huddle round your feet
When you’re walking down the street
Just because they don’t sing a pretty song
It doesn’t mean that they are wrong

Look again
Their pretty necks have turquoise purple shiny green scarves
Purr like a cat they do
Fat necked king pigeon
I like you.


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