A poet with punch and a spoken-wordsmith determined to bring poetry to everyone have taken up the mantles of Birmingham’s Poet Laureate and Young Poet Laureate.
Professional boxer Matt Windle and 17-year-old Nyanda Foday were announced as new champions of Birmingham at a special National Poetry Day Gala event last night (6 October 2016), at the launch of the Birmingham Literature Festival.
The duo were selected as part of a city-wide search by the Library of Birmingham and local writer development group Writing West Midlands, to find talented poets to represent the city. Their work might include writing poems to commission, performing poetry, running workshops, getting involved in cultural events and working with the city’s many poets and poetry groups.
Councillor Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Congratulations to both Matt and Nyanda in being named the city’s latest Poet Laureate and Young Poet Laureate.
“Birmingham is home to a wealth of literary talent and our poet laureates have played an important part in promoting poetry for 20 years, so I’m eager to see what works they produce as our new poet laureates.
“The Library of Birmingham’s partnership with Writing West Midlands has generated brilliant work from previous laureates, and its profile as a cultural destination will enable Matt and Nyanda to make poetry accessible to people across the city.
“Birmingham libraries have led the way with innovative projects like this, such as Stories from the Web and Book Start, which celebrate language, literature and, of course, poetry.”
To read the full release, visit the Library of Birmingham’s website.
Media contact: Caroline Bletso on 07758 937 288 or Caroline@writingwestmidlands.org