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15-year-old Londoner takes over city bus stops as winner announced of Museum of London, BBC 100 & TfL poetry competition

London poems, my london story, BBC100, TfL poetry, Zaynab, museum of london

Poetry competition winner Zaynab looks on at her poem A Slideshow of London. ©Museum of London

  • Winning poem inspired by London bus journey to be displayed at London bus stops and TFL sites
  • Competition part of My London Story – a landmark Museum of London project celebrating 100 years of the BBC and London’s youth
  • Judged by award-winning poet Raymond Antrobus, and poet and Young People’s Laureate for London Cecilia Knapp

15-year-old Zaynab from Tower Hamlets was today announced as the winner of the My London Story: Poems on the Buses poetry competition, a collaboration between Museum of London, BBC 100 and Transport for London (TfL).

Coinciding with National Poetry Day on Thursday 6th October, the winning poem, A slideshow of London, will be displayed this autumn at London bus stops and TfL sites between Mile End and Paddington which inspired Zaynab.

Poems on the Buses poetry competition is part of My London Story – a landmark project by the Museum of London to capture the unique histories of London’s children, past, present and future. My London Story is a Museum of London project for BBC 100, celebrating the broadcaster’s centenary.

Zaynab’s winning poem will be added to the Museum of London’s collection, alongside stunning archaeological finds and rare pieces from London’s rich cultural past. It will also feature on the Museum of London website and be included in a My London Story zine to be produced by the museum.

Zaynab's winning poem, A Slideshow of London, displayed at a bus stop. ©Museum of London

Zaynab's winning poem, A Slideshow of London, displayed at a bus stop. ©Museum of London

The competition was judged by Raymond Antrobus and Cecilia Knapp. Raymond is an award-winning poet, educator and spoken-word artist. Born in Hackney to an English mother and Jamaican father, his work draws on his lived experience as a Londoner and as a d/Deaf person. Cecilia is a poet, playwright and novelist and the Young People’s Laureate for London.

My London Story judge Cecilia Knapp said: ”It was such a joy to judge this competition. Reading about the bus journeys of young Londoners was more than that, it was reading about their lives. That’s what I love about poetry; it’s a window showing us all the different and magical parts of the world. That’s why I think it’s so important that young people feel entitled to occupy the exciting space of poetry. It gives us an opportunity to see through their true lens, in their own voices, on their own terms, and that is a valuable contribution to the world.”

Robert Seatter, Head of BBC History, said: “Broadcasting is all about giving voice, so we were delighted to partner with Museum of London on My London Story and capture fresh and inspiring words of young Londoners. Here are new voices – including Zaynab’s on her blinding red bus journey – to add to a 100 years of BBC voices, taking us right into the London of now.”

Louise Cheeseman, Director of Buses for Transport for London, said: “Buses are much more than just a way of getting from A to B, as shown by the incredible entries to this competition. We hope that customers will enjoy reading Zaynab’s poem on their very own bus journeys. TfL has a long history of spotlighting poetry on our network, with Poems on the Underground celebrating its 35th anniversary last year.”

Lauren Parker, Head of Creative Partnerships, Museum of London, said: “The Museum of London tells the stories of all Londoners – including London’s children and young people. My London Story reveals and captures the experiences of living in London as a child – past, present and future – inspired by the BBC Archives, Museum of London’s collection and, most importantly, the voices of young people themselves. We are delighted that these voices will be part of the Museum’s collections now and into the future.”

Notes to Editors

About My London Story

Poems on the Buses poetry competition is part of My London Story – a landmark project which aims to capture the unique histories of London’s children – past, present and future – and part of BBC100, celebrating the broadcaster’s centenary. It has two strands: a schools project funded by the Kusuma Trust UK and a poetry competition for young Londoners, supported with public funding by Arts Council England.

The schools project engages with ten schools across London in a series of workshops with a focus on Identity, Belonging and Place. The project aims to build on the museum’s oral history collection by recording and acquiring video histories of up to 40 children aged between 12-14yrs, taking inspiration from the BBC Archives and the Museum of London’s collections.

About the Museum of London

The Museum of London tells the ever-changing story of this great world city and its people, from 450,000 BC to the present day. Our galleries, exhibitions, displays and activities seek to inspire a passion for London and provide a sense of the vibrancy that makes the city such a unique place.

The museum is open Monday–Sunday 10am–5pm and is FREE to all. You can explore the Museum of London with collections online – home to 90,000 objects with more being added regularly. Visit for more.

About Transport for London

Transport for London (TfL) is London’s integrated transport authority and is responsible for most aspects of the transport system in London. This includes buses, London Underground, the Elizabeth line, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway, London Cable Car, river services, the Congestion Charge, the Low Emission Zone and Ultra Low Emission Zone, the main road network, taxis and private hire, the Oyster and contactless smartcard ticketing system and the Santander Cycle Hire scheme. It also works with all 33 London Boroughs to actively promote walking and cycling across the city and provides a range of data feeds relating to public transport, walking and cycling via its free Open Data API.

About BBC 100

As the BBC marks its centenary, BBC 100 celebrates and reflects on the unique role the BBC plays in the lives of audiences across the UK as our national broadcaster. From the early days of radio to the rise of television, millions now consume our content on digital services with nine in ten people across the UK using the BBC every week. To see more from the BBC’s first 100 years please go to

About the My London Story judges

Raymond Antrobus MBE FRSL was born in London and is the author of Shapes & Disfigurements (Burning Eye, 2012), To Sweeten Bitter (Out-Spoken Press, 2017), The Perseverance (Penned In The Margins / Tin House, 2018) and All The Names Given (Picador / Tin House, 2021). In 2019 he became the first ever poet to be awarded the Rathbones Folio Prize, and his other accolades include the Ted Hughes Award, Lucille Clifton Legacy Award, PBS Winter Choice, A Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, Somerset Maugham Award and The Guardian Poetry Book of the Year 2018, as well as being shortlisted for The Griffin Prize, T.S. Eliot Prize and Forward Prize. His poems have been published in POETRY, Poetry Review, Lit Hub, New Statesman and The Deaf Poets Society, among others. Raymond also writes for young readers.

Cecilia Knapp is a poet, playwright and novelist, and the Young People’s Laureate for London 2020/2021. She was shortlisted for the 2022 Forward prize for best single poem. She is the winner of the 2021 Ruth Rendell award and has been shortlisted for both the Rebecca Swift Women’s prize and the Outspoken poetry prize. Her debut poetry collection Peach Pig will be published by Corsair in 2022. Her poems have appeared in The White Review, Wasafiri, Popshot, Ambit, Magma and bath magg and anthologised. She curated the anthology Everything is Going to be All Right: Poems for When you Really Need Them, published by Trapeze in 2021. Her debut novel Little Boxes is published by The Borough Press.