Applications open for Birmingham Poet Laureate and Young Poet Laureate

Nyanda Foday, Birmingham Young Poet Laureate 2016-18 by Lee Allen

Writing West Midlands is once again teaming up with Birmingham Libraries to recruit the next two Poets Laureate:

  • The Birmingham Poet Laureate must be over 18 on 1 October 2020
  • The Birmingham Young Poet Laureate must be over 12 and under 18 on 1 October 2020

The Birmingham Poet Laureate and Birmingham Young Poet Laureate are honorary posts appointed by Birmingham Libraries and Writing West Midlands.

The successful candidates should be residents of Birmingham, or work or study in the city, and will be able to show their commitment to writing and performing their poetry. They should be comfortable with the idea of performing for an audience, and the possibility of doing press and media interviews. They will be expected to be an ambassador for the city of Birmingham and its many diverse communities and areas.

The Birmingham Poet Laureate and Birmingham Young Poet Laureate are asked to undertake a small number of honorary duties during their tenure, including writing poems to commemorate significant moments, giving performances of their work and encouraging an interest in poetry across the city. While the posts are honorary and the roles are voluntary, payments are sometimes made for work that is particularly time consuming. Reasonable expenses will be paid.

The position of Birmingham Poet Laureate was the UK’s first ‘city laureate’, with the first appointment being made in 1998. In 2005, the position of Birmingham Young Poet Laureate was set up. The two posts are now appointed every two years. You can find out more about the previous Poets Laureate here.

Please read the FAQs and further information carefully, then apply below.

The deadline for applications is Thursday 13 August 2020 at 5pm.

All applications must be made online. If you are unable to do so, please call the Writing West Midlands office on  0121 246 2770 and leave a message. A member of staff will get back to you with an alternative.