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Faculty of Economics

A University of Cambridge student at the Faculty of Economics has become the youngest person to ever win the National Poetry Competition, organised by The Poetry Society.

 

Eric Yip

19-year-old Eric Yip, who is from Hong Kong, won for his poem Fricatives, which plays with ideas about language to also comment on colonialism, race, migration, belonging and the guilt of leaving one’s home behind.

‘Fricatives’ is a poem that makes its way ‘through the murky and treacherous waters of language, race, migration, and of being heard when “Nobody wants to listen/ to a spectacled boy with a Hong Kong accent.”

‘Fricatives’ is a poem that makes its way ‘through the murky and treacherous waters of language, race, migration, and of being heard when “Nobody wants to listen/ to a spectacled boy with a Hong Kong accent.”

“It’s possibly the most surprising thing to ever happen to me. I’ve never had anything published before in a journal, let alone win any competition, so I feel very grateful to have my poem recognised in such an inconceivable way,” says Eric Yip. “I’m also honoured to contribute a small part to the growing literary space of Hong Kong poetry, which was carved out piece by piece through the wondrous efforts of many Hong Kong poets I admire.”

 

Hong Kong Skyline

 

“I was always interested in the colonial nature of English and how it can be used to divide and oppress. I also wanted to examine the transformation of my city, as well as accompanying sentiments of anger, frustration, and diasporic guilt. I tried to explore these themes without compromise, and I wanted to almost trap the poem in a sonic cage of repeating sounds,” he adds.

Eric Yip wins £5,000 for his First Prize poem. The top three poems will be published in the forthcoming Spring 2022 issue of The Poetry Society’s poetry journal, The Poetry Review.

Read Eric Yip’s poem here: https://poetrysociety.org.uk/poems/fricatives

 

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Economics

Language

Colonialism

Migration

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