Highgate charity to launch poetry anthology in memory of tragic teenager

Alexandra Wylie

Alexandra Wylie - Credit: Archant

A Highgate charity which helps disadvantaged children is calling for poetry submissions in memory of a young woman who dreamed of creating a poetry anthology.

Tara Griffin

Tara Griffin - Credit: Archant

The Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation is inviting people of all ages and backgrounds to send in their poems about London.

Lindsey Wylie, whose daughter, Alexandra, died at 17 from a rare and incurable form of cancer in 2010, described how she stumbled upon her diary from a summer holiday.

A 10-year-old Alexandra had written that it was her dream to create a poetry anthology with 112 poems.

Lindsey said: “I just found it the other day, I hadn’t seen it before.

“She always loved poetry – I used to read lots of poetry to her.

“She liked magic and she was very keen on the mystical.”

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The reason why Alexandra wanted exactly 112 poems is still a mystery.

Lindsey mentioned her daughter’s diary entry to charity volunteer

Tara Griffin, who asked if she

could help fulfil the ambition and curate an anthology.

Tara, 21, who went to Parliament Hill School, described how the Alexandra Wylie Foundation helped her by taking her to plays and financing her at the Young Actors Theatre School when she experienced mental health issues.

Now studying English literature and creative writing at the University of Kent, Tara has been volunteering at the charity for four months, discovering a talent as a graphic artist and copy writer.

In the brief she wrote for poetry submissions, Tara said: “London contains all classes of people, from the under to the upper, all of whom overlap, and over-write each other.

“Some people’s voices are heard more clearly than others.

“We wanted to bring the children and young people we work with the chance to have their say on their city, and bring their views to the same playing field as great academics and big name poets.

“We are looking for observational poems, political poems, poems

that paint a reality of London

as the poet sees fit to express, poems by non-natives, and poems by

natives, poems by those who have only ever been visitors to the

city, and those that have a special place hidden among the tower blocks.”

To put forward a poem, visit: https://awtf.submittable.com/submit. All procceeds from the anthology will go to the charity.