In January of this year, Warwickshire Libraries appointed its 5th Young Poet Laureate. After a busy and very competitive selection day at Rugby Library, during which our five shortlisted young poets undertook a workshop on performance skills, were faced with an interview panel and then gave a performance of some of their work, Hannah was selected.

In her first post, she introduces herself, gives insight into what inspires her and discusses her aspirations for the Laureateship. Throughout 2019, Hannah will be taking part in various events, meeting lots of people to inspire a love of poetry in some of our libraries and sharing more of the writings she loves. Look out for her in a library near you in the coming months!

Right about now, she’ll be taking to a stage in Leamington for her first public performance as Warwickshire Poet Laureate. Having appeared at various library functions, Hannah is now sharing her poetry further afield and we look forward to seeing where her journey takes her.

Hi, my name is Hannah and I am this year’s Young Poet Laureate for Warwickshire. I’ve had the role for over a month now and already have been busy at a number of events around the county and met lots of amazing people.

My favourite poets are Nikki Giovanni and her vivid ‘Walking Down Park’, Emily Brontë and TS Eliot. I try to read the works of as many different poets as possible because I find that it shows me what people are able to do with words in ways that are magical and alive, in a way that I would aspire to write in.

I always have a notebook with me and beside my bed too, as I find I come up with poetry at the most inopportune time and have often had to scribble on napkins, my phone and, in dire need, my hand.

I lived in Jersey until I was sixteen so the sea and small island life has always characterised my poetry. Now, living in Warwickshire, I love to see how the landscape of canals, Shakespeare and larger cities among much else have begun to influence my writing in a very different way.

As Young Poet Laureate I also have a mentor, Jasmine Gardosi, who helps me develop my writing and how I approach it. I’m excited to see how my poetry changes over the next year.

Within the role I am hoping to inspire as many young people as possible with poetry, and will be helping to launch the Summer Reading Challenge over the summer, running poetry workshops and surgeries and I have also started talking to the Year Eights at my school about ‘poetry and mysteries’ as part of their class learning over the past few weeks, among lots of other things.