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Chris Morgan - Poet Laureate 2008-09

The Birmingham Poet Laureate for 2008/9 is Chris Morgan.
The announcement was made on National
Poetry Day, 9 October.

New Poems inspired by Valentines Day

Poems Inspired by Art
The Family at Polperro and Last of England by Chris Morgan

If you would like to book Chris Morgan for an event, please fill in the form below.

Chris Morgan

Chris Morgan was born in 1946 in Oxford, England and grew up partly there and partly in Rhodesia. After leaving school he worked for Pressed Steel, which became British Leyland, in various roles for 13 years, and also got an Economics degree. Since 1976 he has been a freelance writer and teacher of writing. He got married in 1978 and has been living in Birmingham ever since. He has had 10 books published, as well as hundreds of articles and dozens of stories and poems. Writing poetry has been a more recent pursuit, done seriously for about the last 15 years. Chris's interests include photography, books, butterflies, art and food & wine.

Read Chris's poem The Car Body Plant

Background to the Birmingham Poet Laureate
For the past 12 years Birmingham has led the way in fresh contemporary poetry, gaining a national and international reputation. We have had many successful Laureates and each year the new Laureate builds on the great work of his/her predecessor. The position of Poet Laureate is an honorary one, and work is commissioned throughout the year for various civic, local and regional events. The Poet Laureates work connects with many people, from nursery and school children, young people, the elderly, and writers of all ages, even to the average person on the street. The main role of the Poet Laureate is to promote the profile of poetry in Birmingham, and beyond. This year marks the appointment of Birmingham's 13th Poet Laureate and this day will be a start of the celebrations to honour the work of all our Laureates over the years. This year also celebrates the appointment of our fourth Young Poet Laureate, and acknowledges the achievements of Birmingham's third Young Poet Laureate, Matt Windle. Our 13th Laureate will work closely with our new Young Poet Laureate Megan Bradbury, helping her to develop her poetry over the coming year.

  • I try to write a poem a week.
  • I read a great deal of modern poetry - all poets should do this.
  • I'm always torn between writing and reading.
  • If I don't read at least a couple of books a week (poetry, fiction and other things) I get withdrawal symptoms.
  • I'm an ideas man - I've always got ideas for poems, stories and writing exercises, and I jot them down to prevent them escaping
  • My favourite poets are Brian Patten, Roger McGough, Fleur Adcock, Linda Pastan, Billy Collins, Elaine Feinstein, Gwyneth Lewis, U.A. Fanthorpe and Edwin Morgan
  • Poems should be original and cliché free
  • Poems should be thought-provoking and work at more than one level
  • Neither of the last 2 conditions should prevent poems from being fun.
  • I hope, over the next year, to persuade more people in Birmingham to read poetry, write poetry and think poetry


Fritz Leiber: a bibliography Morgenstern 1979 (author bibliography)

Future Man David & Charles 1980 (serious futurology)

The Shape of Futures Past Webb & Bower 1980 (the story of prediction)

Facts and Fallacies (with David Langford) Webb & Bower 1981 (mistaken

Dark Fantasies Century Hutchinson 1989 (edited, anthology of horror stories)

Fortune Telling Quintet 1992

Handwriting Analysis Quintet 1992

The Fortune Telling Kit Quarto 1996

Hardyware: The Art of David A.Hardy Paper Tiger 2001 (text of art book)

As Green as... the Martineau Gardens Morgenstern/Write Angles 2007 (edited, pamphlet of poems

The Car Body Plant

Birmingham Young Poet Laureate
Poetry Menu
About the Birmingham Poet Laureate

F1 - Book Birmingham Poet Laureate




For example, workshop, readings and so on.

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