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Poems by Matt Windle, Young Poet Laureate 2007-2008

Matt Windle
was the Young Poet Laureate for Birmingham 2007-2008.

Each summer Birmingham Libraries advertise for a new Young Poet Laureate for the city. Applicants have to submit four poems and a statement about why they want to take up the post.

Matt Windle
Matt wrote poems for special occasions throughout the year.
What's Bullying

Matt wrote What's Bullying for the Bullying Reduction event that was part of National Anti-bullying week in November 2007. Matt performed the poem in the Banqueting Suite at the Birmingham Council House in front of more than 200 children, young people and teachers from primary and secondary schools across the city.

Schools of the future

Matt wrote Schools of the future for an event called Learning Spaces - Living Places at the ICC on 7 December 2007. The theme of the event was 'creating schools for the future' and the audience of over 100 included teachers, architects and artists. Matt was also invited to a Lord Mayor's Reception later in the day.


Matt wrote Education for the Birmingham Academies launch on 13 December 2007 at The Mailbox. The event was attended by schools representatives and sponsors plus Lord Andrew Adonis, Mike Whitby (leader of Birmingham City Council) and Cllr Les Lawrence.

Why beef

Why beef was performed at a local school.
Matt said 'I wrote this poem because a lot of people talk about Birmingham, how they love Birmingham and then they go and harm another person in Birmingham so it's about how we should all stick together.'

The Gravestone

The Gravestone was written by Matt in commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day 2008. The adult Birmingham Poet Laureate Charlie Jordan also wrote a poem on the same theme.

Matt wrote poems on lots of different subjects.

Our Race tackles racism with strong words; 'See on appearance we're all different but on the inside we're all the same/ We all have blood pumping through our veins/ Heart beating and a brain'

What do you see when you look at me?
examines other people's perception of Matt as a poet, a boxer or 'just the man in the crowd'.

Rivers of Blood
was written for a Channel 4 programme which Matt appeared in, about Enoch Powell and the Midlands.

1999 story is about a 9 year old meeting a girl just before the millennium bug is set to arrive.

Matt Windle at the Blues Ground

Matt is a big sports fan and a lot of his poems are on this theme:

In the blocks is one of Matt's earlier poems and was written after he became 100m champion for the West Midlands.

182 miles is about a feat of endurance. A friend of Matt's dad asked him to write a poem about running 7 marathons in 7 days!

The Mat is about a sport close to Matt's heart: boxing. He says, 'It's just a play on words between my name being Matt and the boxing mat that you get knocked out on (the canvas)'.

Dream Team is a footie fan's appreciation of the beautiful game.

Birmingham City is about his favourite team and was printed in the programme for the match against Everton. Matt also got to read out his poem at St Andrews and met two of the players!

Birmingham Young Poet Laureate 2007-2008
Birmingham Young Poet Laureate - Matt's Diary 2007-2008
About the Birmingham Young Poet Laureate
Birmingham Young Poet Laureate Shortlisted Candidates 2007
About the adult Birmingham Poet Laureate
Poetry Menu
What's in Libraries for Young People?