Poetry Happening Near You

The hunt is on for the next Warwickshire Young Poet Laureate!

Could you be Warwickshire's Young Poet Laureate for 2020? Here's how to apply...

Warwickshire Libraries are delighted to announce that the competition to become Young Poet Laureate 2020 is now open.

Young poets living in Warwickshire have the opportunity to add their name to the county’s rich literary history, following in the footsteps of local renowned poets such as William Shakespeare, George Eliot and Rupert Brooke.

The search is now on for the county's sixth Young Poet Laureate, who will succeed Hannah Owens in the role in 2020. Hannah was selected in January of 2019 and has had a busy year as Young Poet Laureate. She says: “Being Young Poet Laureate for Warwickshire is an incredible experience and privilege; you are able to meet really interesting people and poets alike and become part of an amazing poetry community in Warwickshire. You also have the opportunity to see how your poetry develops and how you develop as a performer, and with that what you can do to help other people and inspire them to write or read poetry too.”

The competition is open to anyone aged between 13 and 17 who writes poetry and is happy to perform their poetry to an audience. As part of their laureateship, the winner will work with Warwickshire Libraries to promote poetry to people across the county.

Warwickshire’s sixth Young Poet Laureate will also receive support to develop his/her own writing and performance skills in the form of mentoring by Jasmine Gardosi, an acclaimed performance poet and writer.

Applications are now welcome before the deadline of 6pm on Monday 11th November 2019. The judges will then get to work before announcing the shortlist on Friday 6th December 2019. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to perform in front of the judges and an audience at a public event on Saturday 18th January 2020 (this will be held in a Warwickshire Library and will be confirmed nearer the date).

How to apply:

Applicants need to:

  • Be 13-17 years old
  • Live and be educated in Warwickshire
  • Submit three poems. Out of the three, one should be inspired by Warwickshire and one should be on the 2019 National Poetry Day theme of ‘Truth’.
  • Submit a personal statement and explain in 250 words:
     1. Why you want to be Warwickshire Libraries’ Young Poet Laureate
     2. How you would promote poetry to the diverse range of people in the county

The closing date is Monday 11th November, 6pm. You can apply by downloading the application form from www.warwickshire.gov.uk/youngpoetlaureate. Alternatively, visit your local Warwickshire library to ask for a form.

Entries should be emailed to libraryevents@warwickshire.gov.uk or posted to ‘Reading and Learning Team’, Unit 20, Warwickshire Libraries, Montague Road, Warwick, CV34 5LT (they must arrive by 6pm on Monday 11th November).