A DISTINGUISHED professor has praised a pupils' prize-winning poem written during lockdown.

In her poem, An Epidemic of Emotions, Ripon Grammar School student Rebecca Edwards describes how she felt as a GCSE student, when exams were cancelled and the country went into lockdown.

Dr Paul Hullah, professor of poetry at Tokyo’s Meiji Gakuin University, described Rebecca’s work as magical and masterful, containing spectacularly original images which are both shocking and real.

He said: “Let’s write ourself out of these scary and strangest of times."

Rebecca's poem was selected from a strong field of student entries as the winner of this year’s RGS Hullah Poetry Trophy competition, which has been running since 2014.

Rebecca, 16, from Ripon, explained how her poem captured how she felt in lockdown.

She said: “I felt quite pointless after our exams were cancelled. After years of work and preparation we were being sent home empty-handed.”