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24th Jul, 2021

Search is on for Warwickshire's next Young Poet Laureate

THE SEARCH is on for Warwickshire’s next Young Poet Laureate.

Warwickshire Libraries has launched the seventh Young Poet Laureate (YPL) search in partnership with Poetry on Loan, an organisation supported by Arts Council England, which aims to promote contemporary poetry in West Midlands libraries.

Applications are welcomed from budding young poets aged 13-17. The successful YPL will use their creative ideas to champion poetry and will share their work across the county.

Previous YPLs have been commissioned to write and perform poetry at events across the county. They have also worked with library staff to deliver poetry sessions to customers and taken part in local events such as festivals and open mic nights. Over the last year, this has also branched out into digital performance via social media and virtual events.

The current YPL, Ruby Murphy, has had her poetry published in a Lockdown Anthology of poetry published by local organisation Scriptstuff and commissioned to write a poem to mark the 20th birthday of the Rugby Library building.

Ruby has also received mentoring from poet Jasmine Gardosi and has written various blogs for Warwickshire Libraries.

She said: “When I became Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureate in January 2020, I could never have expected what was in store for me. During this time, I have had the incredible privilege of performing with one of my biggest inspirations, Carol Ann Duffy, during her evening of poetry at Rugby School.

“It would be impossible to ignore the effect that the pandemic has had on my Laureateship – suddenly shut away and disconnected from the vibrant, lively arts scene I loved, writer’s block hit me harder than ever. I wasn’t far into my term as this ‘Poet’ and already I was doubting myself and my abilities, but I can honestly say I was supported and encouraged so much by everyone involved – Warwickshire Libraries, Poetry on Loan and my incredible mentor Jasmine Gardosi.

“I have been avidly writing poetry for the past seven years, but it has been in this past year that I have developed and improved the most. Despite such difficult circumstances, I have so many amazing memories to look back on. I never anticipated such an incredible experience, doing, growing and learning so much.”

Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/youngpoetlaureate to apply before September 8.

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