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Young poet . . . Mountainview High School pupil Lucy Barge reflects on the collection of poetry she has had published. PHOTOS: ELLA BENSON.

by Shelley Inon

Mountainview High School pupil Lucy Barge will release her debut poetry collection next month.

The 17-year-old said she has been writing since she was aged 3.

She was encouraged to keep writing through her younger years by her parents and later her teachers.

Her book of poems entitled Away With Us has been published by Pukeko Publications.

They told the collective story of a girl finding herself as she navigated the challenges and anxieties of her teenage years.

Lucy is an award-winning poet, having won the 2020 New Zealand Poetry Society’s international open junior competition, placing in the Massey University student yearbook poetry competitions of 2019, 2020 and 2021, and winning Waitaha English’s Lines for Lockdown Award in 2021.

Some of her winning poems are included in this collection.

Lucy said she was looking forward to the launch, being able to catch up with her teachers along the way.

She said Covid regulations made things “a little more complicated” but there would be enough space for social distancing.

Writer and editorial assistant Emma Shi -at a fine line magazine Lucy wrote “with striking and aching honesty, tenderness and defiance”.

“She gathers all the learnings from her own coming of age to deliver a confident and generous debut collection.”

Lucy will be doing readings, as well as selling and signing copies of her book at the launch.

The launch will be held at the Mountainview High School Auditorium at 6.30pm on November 5.

Her book will be available to buy at the launch for $25.