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Applications Open for Young Poet Laureate for London role

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 5:25 PM

‘Being Young Poet Laureate for London has been an incredible experience. It has been challenging, humbling and rewarding. I've had really beautiful moments connecting with Londoners over the transformative power of poetry. It has been truly inspiring and I'm excited about the way it has informed and accelerated my work as a poet.’

Warsan Shire (Young Poet Laureate for London 2013/14)


Spread the Word is delighted to announce the search has begun for the second Young Poet Laureate for London.


In addition to the honour of being named Young Poet Laureate for London, this will be an extraordinary opportunity for a talented young poet who will benefit from superb development opportunities, a high profile platform for their work and commissions worth at least £7,500. Six shortlisted poets will take part in a fully paid-for residential development week, be given commissions and performance opportunities and an interview with our selection panel, before the winner is announced on National Poetry Day on 2nd October.


The role of Young Poet Laureate for London was established in 2013 through Spoke; a visionary spoken word programme commissioned by the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as part of their commitment to supporting arts and culture in and around East London. The Spoke project comes to an end in October 2014, and we are delighted The Legacy List will support Spread the Word to continue the Young Poet Laureate for London programme from October 2014.


Who can apply?

Please make sure you read the Application Pack at the bottom of this page to read more about the role before you apply.

Applications are invited from young people aged 18–25. You must be in this age range on 19 August 2014 and you must live in a London Borough. This means you must have a London postcode for your home address (if you’re not sure, websites such as Doogal provide a map).


We are looking for talented young poets. You do not have to be a published poet, but you will need to demonstrate a commitment to the art-form and be prepared to include performance or reading aloud to an audience as part of your work.


When can I apply?

Applications open on July 15 2014 and will close on 19 August at Midday. Any applications received after this time will not be considered.


What will the Young Poet Laureate for London do?

The role of a Poet Laureate is to respond to a particular place and time and to provide comment and reflections on current events and to some extent is an honorary position.


The Young Poet Laureate for London will be expected to act as an advocate for poetry as an art form and be a positive role model for young poets.


The successful candidate will be commissioned to carry out five two-week writing residencies in different settings in London. This will mean spending time in a particular location (for example, a street, a shop, or a community centre) and encouraging people to get involved through writing and performing poetry (your own and theirs) with workshops, ad-hoc interactions and planned performances. Each residency will be arranged in advance with our project team. A fee of £1500 will be paid for each residency; this will include the time required for planning and preparation and for writing a final poem/s associated with each setting.


In addition to the residencies, the Young Poet Laureate will be invited to perform at a range of events and will be expected to accept a minimum number of these invitations, and will also be required to participate in media related activities. Spread the Word will provide expert support and guidance throughout the year, including media training, career development advice and free access to workshops and other professional development opportunities.


How do I apply?

Please follow these instructions carefully and take some time to download and read the Application Pack at the bottom of this page for all the information you need about the application process and the Young Poet Laureate for London role.


You must send to us the following:


Write a poem: up to 30 lines, inspired by the theme: “The view from my window”

Samples of other work: 3 – 5 poems. No more than 120 lines in total.

CV: a Writer's CV (if you have one) and an 'ordinary' CV detailing education, employment/voluntary development, your contact details and your date of birth.

Personal Statement: please tell us in no more than 400 words what you hope to bring to the Young Poet Laureate scheme and what you hope to gain from it.

Confirm in your personal statement that you are available for the following dates:

3 September Workshop for long-listed applicants

15 – 19 September for the residential development week (shortlisted 6)

29 September interview date (shortlisted 6)

2 October National Poetry Day, for the announcement (shortlisted 6)

NB: you will know on 28 August whether you have been long-listed and you will know on 4 September whether you have been shortlisted.

Send all of the above by email to: [email protected] by Midday 19 August

Any other questions?

If you have any questions please email [email protected] or [email protected]

Categories: Poetry

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