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About the Birmingham poet laureate | Birmingham poet laureate | Birmingham City Council

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About the Birmingham poet laureate

For more than 20 years Birmingham has led the way in fresh contemporary poetry, gaining a national and international reputation and setting a trend by appointing a Poet Laureate for the city. The Poet Laureate is chosen from poets who live or practice in Birmingham by a panel of judges.

The position of Birmingham's Poet Laureate is an honorary one, for which there is no payment. Candidates must be capable of writing good poetry and willing and able to perform their own work. All entrants have had work published and must be willing to get involved in key events and activities throughout the year. The Laureate would normally be resident or do most of their work in the Birmingham conurbation and would be commissioned to write some poems about Birmingham throughout the year.

Richard O’Brien is the current Poet Laureate for Birmingham, for the period October 2018 to 2020.

Read work in progress, commissioned poems, and some projects being undertaken by Richard during his time as Poet Laureate.

Enquire about booking the Poet Laureate


The selection process for the new 2020 to 2022 Poet Laureates is open until Friday 13 August 2020

Applications are via online form on Writing West Midlands’ website

Applicants are asked to submit two short poems, one of which should reference Birmingham. Shortlisted applicants are invited to meet the selection panel to talk about their poetry and read their poems.