Three schoolchildren are having their poetry published this week as part of London’s Spine Festival for youngsters.

Two of them are primary school pupils in Harrow, nine-year-old Kyan Norris and seven year-old Pravan Kubavat.

They beat 160 youngsters in last year’s event in schools all over London, along with 12-year-old Matilda Stone from Forest Hill in south London, to have their works in print for the four-week 2024 festival starting March 21.

Their poems are included in Voices in Poetry anthology published by Otter-Barry Books on March 7.

Kyan, whose family are in West Harrow, was over the moon when he heard he was having his poem in print.

“I paused for one second before jumping in the air like a wild kangaroo when I heard I was a winner,” he said.

Pravan, whose family live in north Harrow. was just as thrilled when his poem was chosen. 

He said: “The whole of my class was cheering and chanting my name. I felt like a celebrity — it was a really proud moment sharing with my friends winning the competition.”

The anthology is a collection of 50 poems from 10 new poets, edited by Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho.

Harrow has its own Poet in Residence, Rachel Lewis, whose first pamphlet Three Degrees of Separation was published in 2019 and who won the Wordsmith Pamphlet Prize. She also got the Jewish Book Week Emerging Writers award and is a member of the Barbican Young Poets Collective.

Spine Festival has expanded in its 10th year involving 16 library authorities across London which include Harrow, Brent, Islington, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets and Newham.

They each have their own Poet in Residence running creative writing workshops for children aged seven to 11 to explore themes of “magic and imagination” during the festival.

Brent Council’s libraries development manager Sarah Smith said: “The festival provides culture on your doorstep to encourage schools, children and families to visit libraries and discover the world of books and events that inspire spontaneity and pleasure.”

Spine Festival runs with a ‘lite’ edition from March 21 to April 21 for youngsters up to 11 to explore their “world of magic and imagination”.