Redbridge teen’s anti-prejudice poem inspired by Anne Frank takes top prize

PUBLISHED: 12:34 15 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:34 15 July 2020

A Redbridge teen won a top national writing award chosen by judge Anthony Anaxagorou - poet and TS Eliot prize nominee. Picture: Julian Knxx

A Redbridge teen won a top national writing award chosen by judge Anthony Anaxagorou - poet and TS Eliot prize nominee. Picture: Julian Knxx


A Redbridge teenager has won the top prize for poetry in the Anne Frank Creative Writing Awards.

Abubakar Subeer, 15, a pupil at Loxford School of Science and Technology, was chosen by judge Anthony Anaxagorou, a poet and TS Eliot prize nominee, for his work entitled Eclipse.

The awards, by anti-prejudice education charity the Anne Frank Trust UK, invited young people across the country to be inspired by Anne Frank and use their creativity to highlight issues of prejudice and discrimination.

A parallel category - for stories, articles and essays - was judged by Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo.

A total of 937 young people across the country submitted entries in both categories.

For his winning poem, which calls for an end to prejudice, Abubakar wins an all-expenses paid trip to Amsterdam and a VIP tour of the Anne Frank House for himself and a member of his family.

Abubakar said the poem was partly inspired by his own experiences of prejudice but also by the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd.

Anthony Anaxagorou said: “The poems I read for the awards asked difficult questions regarding what it means to feel othered or discriminated against in the world today.

“They each demonstrated an astute concern for issues of discrimination and worked to resolve and restore social cohesion through empathy and understanding.”

Tim Robertson, chief executive of the Anne Frank Trust UK said he was overwhelmed by the quality of the writing submitted but particularly the young people’s “obvious commitment to challenging prejudice.”

In congratulating the winners he singled out praise for Abubakar for his “stunning piece of work.

“His symbolic description of Anne as ‘sunlight’, ‘seized by hatred’ is just beautiful.

“I’m also delighted that a young person from Redbridge has been selected as winner as the Trust has worked extensively with young people and partners in the borough.”

Abubakar thanked his English teacher who always gave him the confidence to use his own words.

The Anne Frank Creative Writing Awards are sponsored by the Old Possum’s Practical Trust and by The Sandhu Charitable Foundation.

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