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Warwickshire County Council is delighted to announce the position of Young Poet Laureate 2021 has been awarded to Daniel Wale, a pupil from King Edward VI School in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The Laureateship is a unique opportunity for the successful candidate to develop their writing skills and take part in events and activities across the county under the mentorship of a professional poet. This year’s winner, Daniel, will be mentored by multiple slam champion Jasmine Gardosi, who is a Birmingham Poet Laureate finalist and recent winner of the Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry. Her work has also appeared on Button Poetry, at the Tate Modern, Glastonbury Festival, BBC Radio 3's The Verb, Radio 4 and BBC Asian Network.

Daniel, who has also been named as one of this year’s Foyle Young Poets of the Year, was crowned Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureate winner following a virtual selection day in October. Four high calibre candidates from King Edward VI School, Rugby High School, and Stratford Girl's Grammar took part in a 90-minute workshop with stand-up poet Johnny Fluffypunk, who shared creative tips and advice about how to successfully deliver poetry performances. The candidates then each took part in virtual interviews in front of a judging panel, which consisted of delivering a poetry performance and answering a series of questions, including sharing their ideas about the Young Poet Laureate role. The day culminated in the judges selecting Daniel as Young Poet Laureate 2021.

Daniel delivered his first onstage poetry performance, alongside Coventry’s Poet Laureate Emilie Lauren Jones, at Coleshill Library’s Poetry Evening on 3 November. The event kicked off with four open mic spot poets, several of whom are already members of the library's Poetry Group. The performances showcased a mixture of thought provoking and fun poetry, and, after a short interval, Daniel and Emilie performed their own poetry pieces. The event was Coleshill Library’s first adult attended event since the COVID-19 lockdowns took place, and was attended by a mixture of library staff and the poets’ friends and families. Previously in October the four shortlisted candidates were also provided the opportunity to attend the Leamington Poetry Festival.

Cllr Kam Kaur, Portfolio Holder for Economy & Place, said:

“Now in its seventh year, Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureate scheme is a wonderful opportunity to inspire our younger generations to experience poetry, whether it be writing or performing their own, or reading and listening to others. Over the years, our Laureates have inspired hundreds of young people with their love of poetry by leading workshops, appearing on film and radio and at festivals, and have helped to share the message that poetry is accessible to everyone.

 

I am delighted that we are able to offer this opportunity with the continued support of Poetry on Loan and wish Daniel a successful and exciting year as Young Poet Laureate 2021.”

The Young Poet Laureate competition is run by Warwickshire Libraries and supported by Poetry on Loan, an initiative supported by Arts Council England that promotes contemporary poetry throughout public libraries in the West Midlands.

For more information about the Young Poet Laureate scheme please visit the website: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/youngpoetlaureate or email libraryevents@warwickshire.gov.uk

Warwickshire Libraries supports the Child Friendly Warwickshire programme which is bringing the county together in a collective effort to ensure all children and young people have a voice that is heard, that they are safe, happy and healthy and that they are equipped with the skills to have the best lives they can. To find out more, visit https://www.childfriendlywarwickshire.co.uk/

Published: 10th November 2021