Warwickshire County Council is delighted to announce the position of Young Poet Laureate 2023/24 has been awarded to May Vaughan, a pupil from Stratford Girls' Grammar School.
The Laureateship is open to anyone aged between 13 and 17 who lives and is educated in Warwickshire and is a unique opportunity for the successful candidate to develop their writing skills and take part in events and activities across the county under the mentorship of a professional poet. Past Warwickshire Young Poet Laureates have performed on the radio, on film, at festivals and led their own poetry workshops.
This year’s winner was determined following a selection day at Rugby Library on Saturday 4 November. Five shortlisted candidates took part in a 90-minute workshop with Coventry Poet Laureate 2021/23, Emilie Lauren Jones, who shared creative tips and advice about how to successfully deliver poetry performances.
The candidates then each took part in interviews in front of a judging panel, which consisted of delivering a poetry performance and answering a series of questions, including sharing their ideas about the Young Poet Laureate role. The day culminated in the judges selecting May as Young Poet Laureate 2023/24.
Cllr Yousef Dahmash, Portfolio Holder for Customer and Transformation, said:
"Entering its ninth year, Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureate scheme is a fantastic opportunity for the young people in our county to immerse themselves in the creative world of poetry through reading, writing, and performance.
“Aligned with our commitments to a Child Friendly Warwickshire, this initiative encourages the voices of young people to be heard in a creative way, and that young people can develop the right skills to live safe, happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.
“With thanks to the Warwickshire Libraries team and Poetry on Loan, we are delighted for May and look forward to her having a great year as Young Poet Laureate 2023-24."
The Young Poet Laureate competition is run by Warwickshire Libraries and supported by Poetry on Loan; an initiative supported by Arts Council England that promotes contemporary poetry throughout public libraries in the West Midlands.
Entries for Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureate 2024/25 will open in June 2024 at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/youngpoetlaureate. For more information about the Young Poet Laureate scheme please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Warwickshire Libraries supports the Child Friendly Warwickshire programme which is bringing the county together in a collective effort to ensure all children and young people have a voice that is heard that they are safe, happy and healthy and that they are equipped with the skills to have the best lives they can. To find out more, visit www.childfriendlywarwickshire.co.uk