A competition to find Hampshire’s next poet laureate launches on National Poetry Day, 28 September 2017.
The search for the Hampshire Poet 2018 is being led by Hampshire Cultural Trust, who are encouraging wordsmiths from all over the county to apply. The competition, which runs every other year, aims to foster local writing talent and continues the successful laureate scheme that first began in 2008.
The winning poet will receive two paid commissions highlighting projects and activities during the year, including poems linked to Hampshire Cultural Trust’s wide and varied programme of exhibitions and events across its 23 venues in the county.
As well as being a talented poet, the winner of the Hampshire Poet 2018 competition will need to be a confident speaker and a strong advocate for the pleasures of reading and writing.
The competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over who lives, works or studies in Hampshire. To apply, entrants need to submit two poems from their portfolio along with a short statement of what they can bring to the role and gain from the experience. The competition will close on Friday 8 December 2017 and the winner will be announced in the New Year. Applications for the competition can be made online at the Hampshire Cultural Trust website, https://www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk/hampshire-poet-2018.
2016 winner, Isabel Rogers, pictured, produced a wealth of new verse during her tenure as Hampshire Poet, some published online and some in print on bookmarks. She worked on arts and heritage projects across the county, and held workshops in a variety of venues including schools, libraries and arts centres, encouraging people of all ages to write their own poetry.
Isabel is on the judging panel for this year’s competition. She is joined by poet and chair of the Winchester Poetry Festival, Stephen Boyce, and Angela Hicken, literature officer at Hampshire Cultural Trust.
Janet Owen, chief executive officer at Hampshire Cultural Trust, commented:
‘Hampshire Poet 2018 is a fantastic opportunity for an exceptional talent to be part of the cultural life of Hampshire. We’re looking for a poet who can not only whisk us away with their words, but also someone who can be a champion for poetry and literacy within the community.’