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Staffordshire poet laureate

Staffordshire Poet Laureate

Mel Wardle Woodend from Stafford is the new Staffordshire Poet Laureate for 2019-2021.

Over a two-year tenure, Mel will develop her role and bring new ideas for raising the profile of poetry within Staffordshire through poetry performance
and commissions.

'I am delighted to be appointed as Staffordshire Poet Laureate 2019 - 2021 and am looking forward to promoting poetry across Staffordshire and beyond – to reinforce the idea that poetry does not have to be traditional, or studied from textbooks, but can be vibrant, contemporary spoken word: a vital communication tool that I believe can help people express emotions, that they can use therapeutically as a creative device for channelling emotions, and that will help them to gain confidence.

I am also passionate about making reading accessible to all and in my role as Staffordshire Poet Laureate I hope to further promote dyslexia friendly strategies in the publication of poetry books, to increase accessibility, inclusivity and the enjoyment of reading in order to help break down barriers to literacy and help make good literacy development achievable.'

Visit Mel's website or her Facebook page

Staffordshire Young Poet Laureate

Ollie Hulme aged 17 from Weston Coney has been chosen as the new young poet laureate for Staffordshire 2019-2020.

Ollie said:

'Being appointed as Young Poet Laureate is a great honour for me. It’s an exciting opportunity for me to spread poetry and help others to access the power of poetry.

Poetry is a very personal way of putting our thoughts onto paper and a great way to create something beautiful out of how we’re feeling. I am really excited about sharing my love of poetry as a tool for emotional literacy, self-understanding and positive mental health.

Over the next year I plan to bring many poetry workshops to schools, hospitals and anywhere people really need to see what poetry is about.'

The duo were appointed at a special event in Stafford library as part of National Poetry Day on Thursday 3 October. 

The roles have been created by Staffordshire County Council’s Libraries and Arts Service and hope to inspire a love for poetry and literacy amongst adults and children across the county.

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