STAMFORD’S first ever poet laureate has been chosen.
Darren Rawnsley, 51, of Elton Close, Stamford, beat competition from five other wordsmiths to be crowned Stamford’s poet laureate for 2012.
Darren was announced as the winner yesterday (Sunday) after taking part in a live reading at Stamford Arts Centre on Friday.
He will now take on a variety of responsibilities through the year and make appearances at civic events.
Darren, who works as a teacher at Wild’s Lodge School in Empingham, said: “I can’t quite believe it. I didn’t expect to win.
“I have never really performed my poetry before but I really enjoyed it.”
Darren was encouraged to enter the competition by a friend. He has been writing for a number of years but previously kept his work to himself.
His winning poem The Runner, based on the theme of dreams, was about a runner in a dream.
Darren is already actively involved in Stamford life. He directs the Ink Contemporary Youth Theatre and recently formed the Stamford Community Youth Team to get young people more involved in their town.
Events administrator at the arts centre, Karen Burrows, said: “Darren faced stiff competition, all the finalists did really well but he came out on top.”
The poet laureate competition was launched to coincide with Verse 2012, a poetry festival run by the arts centre, which took place this weekend.
The Runner by Darren Rawnsley
The darkness is gone, now the sun burns my eyes
As I trudge through the desert with another disguise,
I hear him behind me on a steed of light grey
Whose muscles compound whilst heading my way.
Faster and faster my blood flies around
Through the open blue rivers down chambers
That sound, like double bass drums pounding my ears,
Glimpses of sweat washed over with tears.
I rip up my body for freedom and speed
His hooves and his rider, those arrogant thieves
Who steel my possessions my will and my life,
They give me back nothing but sharpen the knife.
Now I am naked way over the dune
The walls are enclosing there isn’t much room
To manoeuvre and run, I just slip in the mud
The walls of my trench collapse as they should
While the torrent descends making heavy my steps,
He is standing beside me, above me behind me
I am not quite lost yet
The river runs slower his hold is unkind
But there lies a softness somewhere deep behind
His rusty old armour his nicotine scent,
I turn and squeeze through a narrow dark vent,
No light at the end no help to be seen
I fall off the curb and awake from the dream
Once again it is real, a punch then the scream!