The search for Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureate has begun

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The judging process has begun to find this year’s Warwickshire Young Poet Laureate.

Young people aged between 13 and 17 across the county have submitted four poems about Warwickshire each - one of which had to carry the 2015 National Poetry Day theme of ‘light’ - as well as a personal statement to the county libraries service.

The winner will not only assume the coveted title, but also work with Warwickshire Libraries during the year to promote poetry to people across the county and receive personal support in developing their own writing and performance skills through mentoring by former Derbyshire Poet Laureate Matt Black.

Matt said: “Poetry is about honesty, love, crisps, music, bus rides, whatever else you make it - and good friends.

The poetry and spoken word scene is so alive at the moment, particularly for young people, and this is a brilliant opportunity for Warwickshire’s young poets to shine. I’m really looking forward to reading what they come up with.”

Judges will announce the shortlisted candidates on Friday December 11, and these young poets will be invited to perform in front of judges and an audience at an event on Saturday January 23.

The new Young Poet Laureate will officially start his/her position on February 6 (National Libraries Day), performing at a library that day. The person selected will also receive a certificate and book prizes.

This year will be the second that Warwickshire has had a Young Poet Laureate. The current holder of the position is Lauren Parsons, who attends Polesworth School. She will also be working with her successor over the coming year.

County councillor Dave Parsons, chairman of the council’s children and young people’s overview and scrutiny committee, said: “Reading and writing poetry gives a lot of pleasure to a lot of people and we are pleased to play a part in producing a new generation of poets in Warwickshire.”

A selection of all poems sent in will be displayed online at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/libraries