Supported by Arts Council England, Georgina was selected through an open call process with the help of a judging panel comprised of Panya Banjoko (Nottingham City of Literature patron, poet and educator); Caleb Femi (London’s Young People’s Laureate); Henry Normal (founder of Nottingham’s Poetry Festival); Debris Stevenson (founder of Nottingham’s Mouthy Poets); and Sandeep Mahal (Director of Nottingham City of Literature).
Announcing the Young Poet Laureate, Director of Nottingham City of Literature, Sandeep Mahal, said: “All of this year’s shortlisted poets deserve to be celebrated as the calibre was high. I am excited for Nottingham and its young people with Georgina Wilding as their first Laureate. Her poetry, performance presence and ambitions to use the power of poetry to change lives made an immediate impression on the judges. Georgina will play a fantastic role in promoting poetry to young people, and young people will love and be inspired by Georgina.”
Nottingham Poetry Festival Founder and Young Poet Laureate judge Henry Normal said: “I’m delighted Georgina is Nottingham’s Young Poet Laureate. Not only is Georgina an accomplished poet and performer with an authentic Nottingham voice, she has already shown great enterprise and has a real sense of the local community. She will represent us well, both to the world and ourselves.”
I am in absolute awe of the opportunity that’s been given to me from Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature team. Both Nottingham and poetry are home to me, and I cannot wait to officially marry the two together for this prestigious role. Nottingham, let’s go get ’em
Georgina now has a busy 16-months as Nottingham’s Young Poet Laureate. She will be using poetry to help promote the city. This will include writing poems to commission, performing poetry in public places, and getting involved in cultural events. In addition, she will inspire and empower young audiences discover their own voice in poetry and provide us with essential insights into what it means to be young in Nottingham by leading five residencies in venues across Nottingham including City Arts, Lakeside Arts Centre, Hyson Green Library, as well as producing poetry that reflects her extraordinary laureateship. Georgina will also work internationally through the UNESCO Creative Cities network, and receive training to support her writing and poetry ambitions.
Her first official engagement will be at Nottingham’s legendary Hockley Hustle, running a workshop as part of the festival’s new youth element, Young Hustlers.