Warwickshire Young Poet Laureate

Young Poet Laureate 2019

Applications are now closed. Shortlisted applicants will be notified by Tuesday 4 December.

Warwickshire Young Poet Laureate

The position of Young Poet Laureate is unique, giving the appointed person an opportunity to work with Warwickshire Libraries. Our poet laureate takes part in events and activities across the county under the mentorship of a professional poet.

Warwickshire Young Poet Laureates have performed on the radio, on film, at festivals and led their own poetry workshops.

Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureate for 2018 is Annabel Peet.

Warwickshire Young Poet Laureate 2018, Annabel Peet reading a poem Annabel was chosen from a strong field of candidates in January.  She attends Stratford Girls’ Grammar School in Shottery, Stratford upon Avon.

Annabel was a key participant in the launching of the Universal Culture offer from the Society of Chief Librarians, at Stratford Library; and she has also read her “Warwickshire” poem to Warwickshire County Councillors, after their kind invitation.

Annabel has been offered a commission from poetry organisation Apples and Snakes, and will take part in an open mic event in Stratford.  She will also appear at Stratford Literary Festival and Rugby Festival of Culture.

So a very busy year ahead for our young poet.

Waiting / Hoping / Knowing – a poem of commemoration by Annabel Peet

Left at home, I wait for news.
Left at home, I hope for news.
I never know if it will be the last time.
I remember the first time I received
a letter from the front.
They said it would be over by Christmas.
Working in factories to send ammunition,
wondering if he’ll be the one to use it,
I try not to think of the worst,
but I know that women on the other side
are doing the same for their loved ones,
and each of my bullets will kill them.
Can I be forgiven?

I know she waits for news,
spends each day hoping for news.
Each letter could be my last.
My first letter to her from the front
was so full of hope, back when
they promised I’d be home by Christmas.
She tells me of her work in factories,
and each bullet I fire makes me feel
closer to her, as if each touched her hands,
but other soldiers on the other side
think the same, and hope that each bullet
fired from my side will not be their last.
Can I be forgiven?

I watch my hands holds themselves out,
reaching towards something I can’t see,
because I know he is not returning.
As I watch my hands, I wonder if
I’m a bad person for being angry
even through his death.
As I watch my hands, I wonder if
he realised that he wouldn’t return,
or if it just happened.

I stumble forwards, hands out in front
to catch me when I fall. I’m hit.
I know I’m not returning.
As I stare at my hands reaching out,
I wonder if she’ll hate me for
not coming back to her. I promised.
As I stare at my hands, I wonder
if she’ll realise that I meant to
come home. I meant to return.

Gallery – Young Poet Laureates 2015-18

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Warwickshire Young Poet Laureate was last updated on November 13, 2018.