Stamford could have a poet laureate

Organisers of next year's Poetry Festival at Stamford Arts Centre. From left, Lynsey Evans from Book A Poet, Stamford Arts Centre marketing officer Kim Taylor and Stamford Arts Centre events administrator Karen Burrows.

Organisers of next year's Poetry Festival at Stamford Arts Centre. From left, Lynsey Evans from Book A Poet, Stamford Arts Centre marketing officer Kim Taylor and Stamford Arts Centre events administrator Karen Burrows.

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STAMFORD could soon have its own poet laureate to tie in with a new festival.

Stamford Arts Centre will hold its first ever poetry festival, named Verse 2012, in March and April next year and organisers have asked Stamford Town Council to create the position of poet laureate to mark the event.

Head of marketing at the arts centre Kim Taylor said: “I don’t think Stamford has had a poet laureate before. It’s a natural thing for the town.

“Peterborough has one and it seems to be something that a lot of places have.”

Verse 2012 will run from March 28 to April 1 and will include a schools day featuring the Dead Poets on Friday, March 30 for both primary and secondary pupils.

Over the weekend there will be a variety of workshops, such as poetry open surgery for everyone from the capable writer through to the simply curious, plus live shows for children, teenagers and adults.

The hunt for a poet laureate will not begin until the launch of the arts centre’s spring season in January. Confirmed judges are the Lincolnshire Poet Laureate, Joel Stickley and the Mayor of Stamford.

The winner of the position will be announced at the festival, and would have a number of duties.

Kim added: “We have no solid plans yet, but the poet laureate would probably hold workshops at the arts centre.”

“The town council is very positive about it.”

Mayor of Stamford councillor John Binder said: “I think it’s a great idea. If we can get it off the ground and find the right person to do it, it’s something we should explore.

“I don’t know if we have ever had one in Stamford but I suspect if you look back in history it is possible.

“Tourism is what we need to encourage in Stamford and that sort of thing brings the tourists in.”