Video: Stamford poet laureate aiming to inspire

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Stamford’s new poet laureate hopes to make the art form more accessible and get more people involved in creative writing.

Teresa McLean, 64, was chosen to take this year’s position by a panel of judges.

Stamford's new poet laureate Teresa McLean.'Photo: MSMP300513-028ow

Stamford's new poet laureate Teresa McLean.'Photo: MSMP300513-028ow

Mrs McLean, who lives off the A6121 near Witham-on-the-Hill, wants to spend her year making poetry more accessible for people around Stamford.

She said: “I don’t want people to think it is something esoteric and po-faced because it isn’t.

“There are serious subjects by their nature but there are also wonderful humorous poems.

“Things are going back to rhyme and verse which was sneered at for a while.”

Mrs McLean began writing when she was a little girl but took a break in her 20s while she brought up her children.

She didn’t write for a long time and much of her work was tragically lost in a house fire.

But a few years ago she began going to poetry workshops and her writing took off again.

Mrs McLean said: “I don’t write a great deal but I am writing more now which is great for me.

“I write about anything that catches my fancy. My entry for the competition was about the history of Stamford. It was written as a performance piece and it works that way because you can alter the pace.”

This year’s laureate competition was expanded to allow people living outside Stamford to enter.

Last year’s winner Darren Rawnsley decided to focus on getting more youngsters involved in poetry.

But this year Mrs McLean plans to introduce adults to the art.

She said: “The work of Darren last year persuaded me to give it a go.

“I want to continue the writers’ forum once a month on Mondays and the Pint of Poetry open mic reading, which is on the last Thursday of every month at Stamford Arts Centre.

“It is open to anyone to come and read their own poetry or something they have seen.”