Iva is the latest voice of the youth of the island

Iva Petrova was chosen as the fourth Manx Youth Bard at the ceremony at the Henry Bloom Noble Library, in Douglas last weekend.

The 15-year-old was narrowly chosen by a panel of judges over second place Cecile Wood, 17, to take over the mantle of youth bard from Brintha Yasodaran, who has held the position over the previous year.

Both Iva and Cecile read three of their poems to the judges, which included the Manx Bard, Owen Atkinson, former bards Annie Kissack and John ‘Dog’ Callister and Phil Gawne, and performed a poem each to the crowd before being told of the results. .

As traditional dictates, the out-going bard passes the robes on to the next, and Brintha dressed Iva in the bright purple robes and hat, before she took her seat on the bardic seat.

Iva, who read her poem ‘Masked’, has only been writing poetry for the past year, but has already created a catalog of 22 poems.

She said she was inspired by the work of Brintha, who she knows from school.

I can’t even describe how it feels to be named as the Manx Youth bard,’ said Iva.

‘It’s such a nice feeling. It feels so special to be recognized for the poetry that I write and now I hope to be able to share with a lot more people.

‘What got me into writing poetry is quite similar to the previous Manx Youth bard, Brintha, who I know from school.

‘I think the first poem I wrote was about having a crush on someone. I found I really enjoyed it and it made me want to write more.

‘I look forward to being able to socialize with people and attend the many events that the Manx Youth bard gets invited to.

‘I write over quite a broad field of topics and themes and, at the moment I am very inspired by the LGBTQ+ events that are being held on the island.

I am also inspired by current events, including racism and things like that. I also write about more personal topics, about myself.

‘I also look forward to talking more about Manx culture and writing about that.’

Organiser Bridge Cater, from the Manx Bard committee, said that the job of choosing a bard was a difficult one this year.

‘My gosh it was hard. I think we have had two of the best teenage poets stand up here and speak to us. T

‘The judges had to whittle the finalists down, from a very big field to just the two of them, and we had such a big entry.

‘It is such a high standard and they get better and better as this goes on and on.

‘The best thing about it for me is that many of them know each other and they all encourage each other on to get better and better. Brintha and Iva go to school with each other, so they coach each other and support one another.

‘Cecile wowed the judges with her poetry, she really did, and it was so difficult to choose between them.

‘They both really stood out from the rest of the field though, but it was hard choosing between them. They were pulling their hair out trying to make a choice.

‘I think that Cecile will remain involved in the youth bard, and she will work well together with Iva, and the current Manx Bard, Owen, over the next few months.’

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