Ballakermeen High School student Hadassah Smith has been named Manx Youth Bard for 2023.
The 15-year-old beat stiff competition from her fellow students by wowing the judges with her poetry, Ellan Vannin, Puddles and My Plum is Calling Me.
She was robed by outgoing 2022 Manx Youth Bard Iva Petrova, and handed a handsome stipend to cover any future outreach work.
Hadassah told Island Life: ‘It is a huge honour to be the fifth Manx Youth Bard and I’m still surprised that I was even chosen to be in for the finals.
‘All of the poets/organisers were so friendly and inspiring. I really enjoyed being apart of such a special opportunity/community and hope to inspire others around the island and maybe even the UK.’
She explained her first poem, Ellan Vannin, is about the island’s attractions and how it is a place where she can call home.
Puddles is about depression and loneliness and how people deal with them.
Her final poem, My Plum Is Calling Me, is about people wanting to be someone else and how they can only see other people’s personality/spirit.
‘They cannot see theirs but if they really dig deep and take time to know themselves for who they truly are then it’s beautiful,’ she said.
Bridge Carter said it was ‘another year of overwhelmingly, top class entries’ into the competition.
The final three were all Ballakermeen High School students.
Sophie Hindson, aged 15, captivated the judges with her poems The Life of Ink, Trapped and Gone Without a Trace. And Elizabeth-May Howard, 11, impressed judges with Roses are Red, Ethereal and Trying to Breathe.
The event was sponsored by Culture Vannin and supported by both the Isle of Man Arts Council and Shoprite.
It was hosted by Jan McCartney at the Henry Bloom Noble Library, in Douglas.
Compere was eighth Manx Bard Michael Manning, who was on the judging panel alongside Annie Kissack and John ‘Dog’ Callister.
Special guests included Lieutenant Governor Sir John Lorimer, Douglas Mayor Janet Thommeny, MHK Jason Moorhouse, Paul Costain and Kirrie Jenkins.