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Birmingham Young Poet Laureate 2009-2010

Young Poet Laureate Birmingham

India Miller was the fifth Young Poet Laureate for Birmingham

15 year old India was one of more than 70 young people who applied to be our fifth Young Poet Laureate. The announcement was made on National Poetry Day, Thursday 8 October 2009. India was a pupil at King Edward VI Camp Hill Girls School and worked hard to promote poetry to young people in Birmingham throughout the year.

Read the poems which India wrote when she applied to be our Young Poet Laureate

India said:

"English has always been one of my passions, but it’s only fairly recently that I’ve become interested in poetry – a few years ago, I would have dismissed it as dull and irrelevant. When I decided that I’d try to enter my school’s poetry competition I realised how fun – and easy – it is to write poetry; and after reading some brilliant poems (and trying to write a few, too) I’ve become hooked!

For me, one of the most brilliant things about poetry is its ability to make you laugh, or cry, or both, in just a few words.

Unfortunately, poetry is still a genre that most young people find boring and difficult to understand, and I can see why - at first glance, poems often don’t make a lot of sense. However, I think that if people realise that poetry is all around us – not least in the form of songs – they might find out how accessible it can be."

Read India's blog

India let us know about her experiences throughout the year in her online diary.

Poems by India

India wrote lots of new poems in her role as Young Laureate:
The Runners was written for the Birmingham Half Marathon.
Library Card was performed in front of the Duchess of Cornwall at a special event in Centre for the Child.
imprisoned (to the six million) is a powerful poem written to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day 2010.
Achievement explores the ways in which teenagers contribute to society, even though they're often portrayed badly in the media. India performed the poem at the Young People's Achievement Awards.
What's wrong with our society is about protecting children and young people from maltreatment and was written for the Regional Safeguarding Awards.
The Beat of Birmingham was written for the Be Birmingham Summit at MAC
A Beginner's Guide to Young Poet Laureateship was performed at the shortlisting event for the future Young Poet Laureate.

More about the Young Poet Laureate