Poetry Happening Near You

Young Poet Laureate - Warwickshire

Young Poet Laureate 2018

It's time to start thinking about Warwickshire's 2018 Young Poet Laureate! Applications can be submitted now.

The position of Young Poet Laureate is unique, giving the appointed person an opportunity to work with Warwickshire Libraries. Our poet laureate takes part in events and activities across the county under the mentorship of a professional poet. Warwickshire Young Poet Laureates have performed on the radio, on film, at festivals and led their own poetry workshops.

Are you aged 13 – 17?

Would you like to develop your poetry writing skills?

Could you perform to audiences?

Then apply to be Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureate.

Warwickshire Young Poet Laureate 2018 (PDF, 804.65 KB) – application form.

Closing date is 17:00 Tuesday 31 October 2017, and  shortlisted applicants will be notified by Friday 1 December 2017.


And the new Young Poet Laureate for Warwickshire is...

Warwickshire Libraries are thrilled to announce that the position of Young Poet Laureate 2017 has been awarded to Emily Stephens of Rugby High School. Emily, who also lives in Rugby, successfully beat a high calibre of shortlisted candidates during a finals day hosted at Rugby Library on Saturday 21st January.
Current laureate Harry Jenkins will hand over the baton to Emily after a poetry reading at Warwick Library on Saturday 4th February. Harry, Emily and professional poet Emma Purshouse will share their poems during the event which starts at 11am for an audience of all ages to enjoy. 
Here's one of Emily's poems:

where are you? and why aren’t you coming back?

i saw spilt milk on your bedroom floor
soaking indistinguishable writings
that once i could have heard.
your deprivation call ringing through
my ears i sought
for the golden book i saw thrice
but it could not be found by my
weary eyes,
forcibly held open by the weight of
worn aviators.
where are you? and why aren’t you coming back?
i sat, pleading for your presence and
howling for your hand.
fading trains on the duvet cover
taking me to another land,
in which you slept beneath them
safely, in the proximity of my comfort.
where are you? and why aren’t you coming back?
i remember the misty sheets across
your eyes as they parted with dawn’s
whispers of fragility with only tone
and the secret creaks above me as
you tackled the stairs!
the orange of your vomit
and the silk of your hair
where are you? and why aren’t you coming back?
Emily Stephens

Could you be Warwickshire’s third young poet Laureate?

Are you aged between 13-17?

Do you write poetry and would you love to perform to an audience?

Would you like to develop your writing skills and promote poetry to other people?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then apply to become Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureate. This honorary position is unique. It will give you the chance to work with Warwickshire Libraries and other organisations, taking part in events across the county.

If selected you will be presented with a certificate and book prizes. You will also be assigned a mentor; a professional poet who will support you with your writing.

“The Laureateship is a fantastic opportunity to develop as a poet, particularly as a performer, and will be a great motivator to anyone who wants to take their poetry to the next level.” Harry Jenkins, YPL 2016.

You need to:

  •  be 13-17 years old
  •  live or attend school or college in Warwickshire
  • submit four poems. Out of the four poems, one should be inspired by Warwickshire and one should be on the 2016 National Poetry Day theme of ‘Messages’.

Provide a Personal Statement:
Tell us in 250 words -

  • why you want to be Warwickshire’s first Young Poet Laureate
  • how you would promote poetry to a diverse range of people in the county.

The closing date for applications is 5pm Monday 7th November, and shortlisted applicants will be notified by Friday 1st December.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to perform in front of a panel of judges and an audience, at an event on Saturday 21st January 2017. Candidates will be judged on their poems, personal statement and performance.

How to apply:

Apply online at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/libraries or post the form available at any of our libraries, together with your four poems and personal statement to: Amy Merriott, Unit 20, Warwickshire Libraries, Montague Road, Warwick, CV34 5LT
For further information contact amymerriott@warwickshire.gov.uk