Hi, I’m Emily and I’m delighted to have been chosen to take on the role of Warwickshire Young Poet Laureate 2023!

I really enjoyed the selection day at Rugby Library, especially meeting the other finalists, poet Steve Pottinger and my brilliant mentor for the year, Brenda Read-Brown. I have already had some great experiences as Young Poet Laureate, including participating in Polesworth’s Dickens Night – I am currently working on a poem based on the theme of belonging, using words collected from the people of Polesworth. In February I have two commissioned poems to complete, one to be performed at Shout Out for the Arts career fairs, plus an exciting opportunity to meet other young poets at the Birmingham Hippodrome, performing and taking part in a workshop with Helen Mort. Exciting!

Emily at the selection Day in Rugby Library with Poet Steve Pottinger

I’ve enjoyed writing since I was very young. I received my first writing award in 2019, aged 12, when I won Best Nature Poem in the Betjeman Poetry Prize. My first performance was reading this poem at St. Pancras Station. Since then I have grown to love performing – taking part in the Guernsey Literary Festival, the South Warwickshire Literary Festival and also reading at Hen Harrier Day, where I was named Young Wild Writer 2022! I have met some amazing people through my writing, including Michael Symmons Roberts, Gill Lewis and Chris Packham.

I believe reading and writing poetry can provide many benefits – it can be an opportunity to reflect upon events, places and people, a way of dealing with something stressful, or celebrating something amazing! I am passionate about young people engaging with poetry and not just viewing it as something you have to learn at GCSE. I’d like to show other young people that poetry is accessible to all, to not be put off, and to have a go themselves. I am pleased to be leading a writing workshop at my comprehensive school later this month, and plan to run workshops at other locations throughout the year.

Through poetry I am able to express my love of nature, which is my other main interest – to me nature and writing go hand in hand. I have also written articles which have been published in nature magazines and I use my social media accounts to promote both nature and poetry. To read some of my work take a look at my blog, Instagram or Twitter.

Recommended Poetry

For younger readers I would recommend The Lost Words, written by Robert Macfarlane and illustrated by Jackie Morris – it is a beautiful book!

If I had to choose two poets to recommend to older readers, I would say Kim Moore (whose book All The Men I Never Married recently won the Forward Prize for Best Collection) and the incredible Michael Symmons Roberts.