Teenagers vote for poet Heaney;Poll;Poets

29th January 1999 at 00:00
Seamus Heaney is the children's choice to be the next poet laureate according to a TES snapshot poll.

The Nobel prizewinner just edged out Simon Armitage whose choice of subjects - including Eric Cantona's retirement - proved popular among young people often turned off by more traditional poets.

The poll revealed the relative obscurity of many modern poets. Only 7 per cent of those surveyed had heard of Wendy Cope, the 5-2 bookies' favourite for the post. A quarter said they did not know who the next laureate should be. However, 60 per cent could name Ted Hughes, the last poet laureate, who died in October last year.

The first poet laureate was appointed in 1616 by James I. Early holders of the post received a butt of wine and a pension. Tony Blair is expected to make a recommendation on Ted Hughes' successor to the Queen early next month.

Despite being given only a 10-1 chance by William Hills, Seamus Heaney emerged as the winner from the survey of 265 15 to 17-year-old pupils, with 20 per cent of the vote.

Simon Armitage, the recently appointed millennium poet, was a close second with only four votes fewer than the winner. Benjamin Zephaniah was third.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now