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Stamford's new poet laureate is talented performer Rob Ellks

A new poet laureate has been selected for Stamford following online auditions by seven talented candidates.

While most of Verse Festival 2020, Stamford’s fifth festival of poetry and spoken word, was postponed due to the coronavirus, the selection process for poet laureate went ahead using the video conference app, Zoom.

Audience members were able to watch from home as each applicant performed a live reading for the panel of judges, who included Stamford’s then deputy mayor, now mayor, Maxine Couch; Stamford’s 2018 to 2020 poet laureate Chris Martin; and Verse Festival coordinator and South Kesteven District Council's arts programme officer Karen Burrows.

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