Four finalists battled for the laureateship yesterday and the judges reported a tough decision, but the one they made was fitting. Ade Couper delivered two splendid poems which set him up for a year as Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2021-2022.
Many congratulations, Ade.
Also, congratulations to all the successful Young Writers who entered the WLF Young Writer competition – many of their stories were read out and enjoyed by so many. They were lucky to have the good offices of Kevin Brooke, the Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe Youth Ambassador to introduce them to the competition and support them while entering.
Betti accepts her WPL trophy—Photo courtesy of Catherine Crosswell
Our new Worcestershire Poet Laureate (WPL) Betti Moretti. Congratulations to Betti and commiserations to the runners up Sarah Leavesley and Peter Sutton—a whisker between the three of them—we had a marvellous afternoon when Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe launched the 8th Worcestershire Literary Festival.
Betti ‘struggles’ to get her trophy from outgoing WPL Nina Lewis—what fun!—Photo courtesy of Catherine Crosswell
Written for and first published in the Worcestershire Poet Laureate Nina Lewis’s project: A Tale Of Two Cities, Contour eZine issue 3 With thanks to my collaborator, Beth Sweeney, who responded with a poem of her own, which you can see in the publication.
The climax to the seventh Worcestershire Literary Festival was the crowning of our new Worcestershire Poet Laureate Nina Lewis. The opening night was magical with readings from young writers, from the Flash Fiction winner Christine Griffin, plus an ultra-cool compere in Poet with Punch Matt Windle.
Laureate finalists Damon Lord and Louise Reeder wowed us with their words. Damon gave an impressive performance and Louise’s second poem was emotional, heartbreakingly beautiful.
Nina told the Worcester audience that as Laureate she would wish to build on the legacy of past Laureates. She has a passion for promoting poetry and experience in organising poetry events independently and for festivals, and she’d endeavour to raise awareness of local talents while her overarching theme is to get people connecting with poetry.
Congratulations to Louise and Damon for their achievements. Mega-congratulations to Nina, Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2017!
Suz Winspear outgoing Worcestershire Poet Laureate hands over to Nina Lewis watched by the Chair of the judging panel, County Arts Officer Steve Wilson