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The search for Nottingham's Young Poet Laureate

Thu 27 Apr, 2017

We are delighted to announce our search for a young poet to represent Nottingham on the international stage.

At Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature we are passionate about supporting brilliant poets. So we are delighted to announce our first ever open call for applications. The call is open to all poets aged between 18-30 who live, work or study in Nottingham. Entrants will be encouraged to send in a personal written statement, or a short film about themselves, covering their work as a poet, why they would like to have the role, what trends they’d like to explore as part of the role, and how they’d best use the role. They will also be required to send in four poems with one themed on Nottingham.

The new Laureate will then embark on a two-year paid tenure, involving:

  • five youth-focused residency workshops at Lakeside Arts, City Arts and Hyson Green Library amongst other city venues;
  • a series of public engagements;
  • opportunities to represent Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature nationally and internationally through the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
“Nottingham is one of the most exciting creative cities in the world. This is why Nottingham deserves a dynamic Young Poet Laureate, who will have a positive impact on our young people’s lives. We are looking for a young poet with a genuine desire to help young talent discover their own voice in poetry. ”

Meet our star judges

Debris Stevenson on the panel

Debris Stevenson

"Having been through the London Laureate scheme, and set up the region’s biggest collective (Mouthy Poets CIC) working with thousands of young people across Nottingham and the East Midlands, I am so happy to be part of this programme. Nottingham’s young voices need to be heard nationally and internationally, its literary and cultural heritage is rich and relevant on an international scale, and I look forward to seeing this programme, not just invest in the one young person being appointed, but the wider body of young people that step forward to apply. This programme goes beyond the Laureate, it’s about investing in the next generation of writers and giving them the tools to build and believe in a literary community locally, nationally, internationally."

Debris Stevenson

Henry Normal on the panel

Henry Normal

"Nottingham has a wealth of young poetic talent. The vibrancy of the local scene through the universities, workshops and many regular events was evident at this year's poetry festival. The passion and energy of young Nottingham poets is infectious. A Young Poet Laureate for the city will help bring this love of words to a wider audience."

Henry Normal

Panya Banjoko photo

Panya Banjoko

"If we are concerned with how best to continue the rich literary tradition that we have in this city and how to inspire the young, then this is it, a young poet laureate!"

Panya Banjoko

Caleb Pic

Caleb Femi: Young People's Laureate for London

"I feel very honoured to be part of the judging process and I look forward to helping bring a new figure into poetry at this exciting time."

Caleb Femi: Young People's Laureate for London

The full guidance and call for applications is now open! Apply here

with thanks to our partners

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