The roles of Staffordshire Poet Laureate and Staffordshire Young Poet Laureate are open, and local poets are being invited to apply.
A two year position, Staffordshire Poet Laureate is open to adults aged 18 plus, while the Staffordshire Young Poet Laureate is open to teens aged 14 to 18 and is a one year position.
The initiative, which aims to promote an appreciation of poetry across the county, is being advertised by Staffordshire County Council Libraries and Arts Service. Applicants for both positions must either live or study in Staffordshire, share a love of poetry and a desire to promote it. The successful applicants will take up their roles at the end of September 2017.
Gill Heath, Cabinet Member responsible for libraries at Staffordshire County Council, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for people who love poetry and want to share their love of it with others. We’re keen to see more people engaging with poetry and reading, and our Poet Laureate scheme is helping us do this. We’re now in our fifth year and we’ve had some wonderful laureates, including the current Staffordshire Poet Laureate, Bert Flitcroft, and Young Poet Laureate, Isobel Horsley, both of whom have done a fantastic job. Our new laureates will enjoy a busy year writing and performing poems for special events and I would definitely encourage anyone with an interest in poetry to apply.”
Bert Flitcroft said: “I have very much enjoyed my time as Staffordshire Poet Laureate and would thoroughly recommend others to apply. I enjoyed the challenge of writing a range of poems I would not otherwise have written, and the whole experience has given me a much deeper appreciation of the County as a whole.”
Isobel Horsley said: “Being Young Poet Laureate has been an unforgettable journey, it was incredible to experience and immerse myself in what the literary world of being a poet is like, and I would gladly do it again. I’ve met so many inspirational and enthusiastic people including John Lancaster and my mentor Bert Flitcroft, the Staffordshire Poet Laureate, who have helped me develop my poetry. I would urge anyone with an interest in writing and performing poetry to step forward and apply without hesitation.”
Entries for Young Poet Laureate close at 5pm on 6th July 2017. Entries for Poet Laureate close on 30th August 2017. Winners will be announced on National Poetry Day, 28th September 2017.