Pupil from Rugby awarded Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureate 2020

Warwickshire County Council is thrilled to announce the position of Young Poet Laureate 2020 has been awarded to Ruby Murphy, a pupil from Rugby High School.

The Laureateship is a unique opportunity for the successful candidate to develop their writing skills and take part in events and activities across the county under the mentorship of a professional poet. This year’s winner, Ruby, will be mentored by award-winning Birmingham poet, Jasmine Gardosi who has appeared on BBC 3’s The Verb, BBC Asian Network and at Glastonbury Festival.

Ruby was crowned the winner at a special selection day at Rugby Library in January, where she competed against five other high-calibre poets in a series of challenging workshops, interviews and performances. The event was attended by the Mayor of Rugby, Councillor Bill Lewis, and representatives from Warwickshire Libraries who presented certificates and prizes to the winner and runners up.

During the event, the six aspiring-poets had the chance to work with former Worcestershire Poet Laureate, Fergus McGonigal, who kicked off the day with a workshop sharing creative advice and tips on how to make the most out of their performance. The poets then took part in a panel interview and the day culminated in the young people performing two of their own poems to 60 of their friends and family.

The audience was also treated to some of Fergus’ own work, as well as performances from the outgoing Young Poet Laureate, Hannah Owens, and this year’s mentor Jasmine Gardosi.

Cllr Kam Kaur, Portfolio Holder for Customer and Transformation at Warwickshire County Council, said:

“Now in its sixth year, Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureate scheme is a wonderful opportunity to inspire our younger generations to experience poetry, whether it be writing or performing their own, or reading and listening to others. Over the years, our Laureates have inspired hundreds of young people with their love of poetry by leading workshops, appearing on film and radio and at festivals, and have helped to share the message that poetry is accessible to everyone.

I am delighted that we are able to offer this opportunity with the continued support of Poetry on Loan and wish Ruby a successful and exciting year as Young Poet Laureate 2020.”

This year’s short-listed candidates were:

  • Niamh Chalmers, Rugby High School
  • Ruby Murphy, Rugby High School
  • Grace Ridley, King Edward VI School
  • Elise Scotney, Rugby High School
  • Jolyon Summerfield, Kineton High School
  • Shona Whelan, Rugby High School

The Young Poet Laureate competition is run by Warwickshire Libraries and supported by Poetry on Loan, an initiative supported by Arts Council England that promotes contemporary poetry throughout public libraries in the West Midlands.

For more information about the Young Poet Laureate scheme please visit the website: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/youngpoetlaureate or email libraryevents@warwickshire.gov.uk