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Nottingham announces its first Young Poet Laureate


Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature are delighted to announce today, 28 September 2017, that Georgina Wilding is the Young Poet Laureate for Nottingham 2017/18.


Supported by Arts Council England, Georgina was selected through an open call process with the help of a judging panel comprised of Panya Banjoko (Nottingham City of Literature patron, poet and educator); Caleb Femi (London’s Young People’s Laureate); Henry Normal (founder of Nottingham’s Poetry Festival); Debris Stevenson (founder of Nottingham’s Mouthy Poets); and Sandeep Mahal (Director, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature).


Announcing the Young Poet Laureate, Director of Nottingham City of Literature, Sandeep Mahal, said:


“All of this year’s shortlisted poets deserve to be celebrated as the calibre was high. I am excited for Nottingham and its young people with Georgina Wilding as their first Laureate. Her poetry, performance presence and ambitions to use the power of poetry to change lives made an immediate impression on the judges. Georgina will play a fantastic role in promoting poetry to young people, and young people will love and be inspired by Georgina.”


Nottingham Poetry Festival Founder and Young Poet Laureate judge Henry Normal said:


“I’m delighted Georgina is Nottingham’s Young Poet Laureate. Not only is Georgina an accomplished poet and performer with an authentic Nottingham voice, she has already shown great enterprise and has a real sense of the local community. She will represent us well, both to the world and ourselves.”


Poet and Young Poet Laureate judge Panya Banjoko said:


“What a wonderfully rich canvas containing some truly outstanding young poets, choosing just one to represent was an extremely difficult task, Georgina is an excellent choice and will no doubt go on to be a great ambassador of poetry for the city”.  


On hearing the news that she had been selected, Georgina said:


“I am in absolute awe of the opportunity that’s been given to me from Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature team. Both Nottingham and poetry are home to me, and I cannot wait to officially marry the two together for this prestigious role. Nottingham, let’s go get ’em!”’



Georgina now has a busy 16-months as Nottingham’s Young Poet Laureate. She will be using poetry to help promote the city. This will include writing poems to commission, performing poetry in public places, and getting involved in cultural events. In addition, she will inspire and empower young audiences discover their own voice in poetry and provide us with essential insights into what it means to be young in Nottingham by leading five residencies in venues across Nottingham including City Arts, Lakeside Arts Centre, Hyson Green Library, as well as producing poetry that reflects her extraordinary laureateship. Georgina will also work internationally through the UNESCO Creative Cities network, and receive training to support her writing and poetry ambitions.


Her first official engagement will be at Nottingham’s legendary Hockley Hustle, running a workshop as part of the festival’s new youth element, Young Hustlers. More info here  http://younghustlers.co.uk/events/young-hustlers-poetry-writing/


About Georgina

Georgina is a poet and learning designer born and bred in Nottingham. She grew up in a working-class family with Irish Catholic roots and is one of 13 grandchildren. Her current work in poetry has a focus on gender and expression. Alongside this, she is the founding editor of Nottingham based poetry publishing house, Mud Press, which recently saw the launch of their newest anthology WOMAN. She has been commissioned by organisations such as the BBC to write and perform for both radio and TV, has toured her poetry across the UK and Germany, and recently performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She has a first-class degree in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of Nottingham, and began her career in poetry working within the Nottingham-based spoken word collective, Mouthy Poets.


Georgina is available for interview. Georgina is an experienced performer on television and radio, and the stage, and we are very keen for her to appear across these mediums to show how she uses words with great skill and playfulness, breaking poetry out of the page and into something engaging for all.



All enquiries to: Matt Turpin, Communications and Project Manager matt@nottmcityoflit.org ; 07595954622

Posted on 28 September 2017

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