Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureate 2019 announced

Warwickshire County Council are thrilled to announce that the position of Young Poet Laureate 2019 has been awarded to Hannah Owens from Princethorpe College.

This is a unique position giving a young person the opportunity to work with Warwickshire Libraries and take part in events and activities across the county under the mentorship of a professional poet.

Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureates have performed on the radio, on film, at festivals and led their own poetry workshops. Hannah was selected from a shortlist of high-calibre candidates during a finals day on 19 January 2019 where each candidate was interviewed and performed to an audience at Rugby Library.

During the day the shortlisted candidates worked with professional poet Fergus McGonigal. Fergus gave advice on creative process and tips on how to perform poetry to an audience. He also treated the audience to some of his own work.

Young Poet Laureate presentation

Cllr Kam Kaur, Portfolio Holder for Customer and Transformation at Warwickshire County Council, said: “Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureate scheme is now really established as a wonderful opportunity for young people to promote poetry and to hone their own writing and performance skills at the same time. We are delighted that we are able to offer this opportunity with the support of Poetry on Loan. Rugby Library was a brilliant venue for the poets to perform their work and get first-hand advice from a respected professional poet.”

This was the fifth Young Poet Laureate competition, run by Warwickshire Libraries, and supported by Poetry on Loan. The event was opened by a performance from the outgoing Laureate for 2018, Annabel Peet.

Fergus and Young Poet Laureate finalists

This year’s short-listed candidates were

Hannah Owens, Princethorpe College

Shona Whelan, Rugby High School

Ruby Murphy, Rugby High School

Helen Martin, Rugby High School

Evelyn Byrne, Stratford Girls’ Grammar

Also in attendance were Mark Pawsey MP, the Deputy Mayor of Rugby, Councillor Bill Lewis, WCC Deputy Leader Councillor Peter Butlin, who presented certificates and prizes to the winner and runners up.