Nottingham's Young Poet Laureate Shortlist Announced

Words: Jade Moore
Monday 04 September 2017
reading time: min, words

UNESCO City of Literature have announced a shortlist of four brilliant poets who together show the diversity, energy and vitality of Nottingham’s poetry scene...


After a total of eighteen submissions, the competition to be crowned Nottingham's first ever Young Poet Laureate is hotting up, as the judges have whittled applicants down to the following four wordsmiths who are one step closer to the title…

Cleo Asabre-Holt who has recently been awarded with the Midlands 3 Cities Scholarship to pursue an MA in Creative Writing. Cleo is well-known on the Nottingham poetry scene, with a reputation for addressing difficult, often taboo subjects with verve and panache.

Tyrone Moran-Healy is the recent winner of the Nottingham Poetry Festival Phlexx Poetry Slam. Tyrone has gained a reputation as a live performer of some mettle, seamlessly melding rap and poetry with a captivating delivery.

Chris McLoughlin is former artistic director of the Mouthy Poets, a workshop facilitator and full-time writer. His strongly personal work aims to create a platform for those suffering silently, and for readers and audiences to feel less alone.

Georgina Wilding founder of Nottingham poetry publisher Mud Press, she has written and performed for radio and TV, and recently performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Anyone who's anyone on Nottingham’s poetry scene will have heard of this lot, and may be torn between who they want the title handing over to. They’re all deserving, and the final is down to the panel of judges which features an array of talented poetic types in their own right.

The panel includes Panya Banjoko, a patron of NCoL, Caleb Femi of London’s Young People’s Laureate, Debris Stevenson, founder of the Mouthy Poets, and Henry Normal, who founded Nottingham’s Poetry Festival.

The selection process involved sifting through eighteen submissions, reading a total of 36 single poems and watching over 30 video performances. Blimey, it’s a good job they like poetry.

Announcing the shortlist is Director of NCoL who has this to say about poetry and poets in Nottingham:

“If one thing has struck me in the year I’ve been in Nottingham, it’s the incredible breadth, diversity and intense energy of the local poetry scene. Poetry slams and spoken word nights are bringing words to life almost nightly across the city, and it has been a delight to watch this grassroots scene flourish. Congratulations to our four shortlisted poets. Our shortlist showcases a diverse spectrum in voices and poetic styles, and together, they represent Nottingham’s own life-affirming and rebellious spirit”.

Spot on, Sandy.

If you want to see the poets in the flesh doing what they do best, then get down to the Angel, Stoney Street between 7-10pm on Tuesday 19 September 2017. Stick it in your diaries now.

Nottingham's Young Poet Laureate will be announced on National Poetry Day, which is Thursday 28 September. 

Nottingham City of Literature website


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