Emily Collis Senior Reporter
THE search is on for Worcestershire’s next Poet Laureate, to replace last year’s Bromsgrove winner.
Nina Lewis has had a busy year since winning the title in 2017, performing at Lakefest, organising a World Poetry Day event and publishing Contour, a quarterly poetry magazine.
Nina said: “Being Poet Laureate has meant that I am in a position to be an ambassador for poetry, I have taken great pleasure in the writing commissions that have come my way.
“I feel that if you are lucky enough to be the Laureate you should invest time and energy into the role.”
“I am delighted to have discovered poets not known on the Worcester scene – one of my personal objectives.”
Nina was also responsible for curating the ‘Transatlantic Poetry Project – A Tale of Two Cities’ call and response project.
Nina, who started writing poetry as a teenager, was already published in several anthologies by the time she reached her 20s, but stopped to pursue a teaching career.
“In 2013 I returned to the world of writing and by 2014 my poetry pen was full of ink and ready to go,” she said. “I haven’t looked back since.”
“My pamphlet ‘Fragile Houses’ was published by V. Press in 2016.”
Those hoping to win this year can enter on the Worcestershire Litfest or Fringe websites by March 30.
Charley Barnes, secretary of poetry organisation Litfest, said the committee is looking for someone with a passion for literature broadly, but poetry specifically.
She said: “The Poet Laureate is a representative for the entire County so we need someone who is committed to bringing poetry to the masses, through workshops, public appearances and everything in between.”
Nina’s advice to aspiring poets is to enjoy it.
“Have an idea of what you would like to achieve in your year, get involved in the local poetry scene and be passionate about poetry,” Nina said. “Also have strong arms – I may not want to let the Laureateship award go.”