Friday, 30 September 2011

Handing over the laureate baton ...

Ann has handed over the laureate baton to Matt Black who officially takes over as the new Derbyshire Poet Laureate on National Poetry Day, Thursday 6th October 2011.

We're delighted to welcome Matt to the role and look forward to working with him over the next 2 years.

Matt's launch event is on Thursday 6th October 2011, 7.30-8.45pm at Alfreton Library.
He'll be reading a selection of poems, including poems inspired by Games, which is the theme for this year’s National Poetry Day. Matt will also be launching the Derbyshire Literature Festival 2012 Nonsense Poetry and Prose writing competition.
The event is free and if you'd like to come along and meet Matt please book tickets with the Arts Team on 01773 831385 or email

Unofficially Matt has already started as laureate and will be popping in to various events during the Chatsworth Road Festival in Chesterfield which takes place 1st to 8th October. So if you're out shopping on Chatsworth Road over the next week you may bump into him.

Ali Betteridge
Literature Development Officer

From Matlock to Mamelodi

Ann's tenure as Derbyshire Poet Laureate has just finished and I can't believe another two years of the laureateship has gone so quickly. Last week we launched From Matlock to Mamelodi: 5000 miles of poetry with the Derbyshire Poet Laureate Ann Atkinson, a collection which brings together poems written by Ann during her time as laureate. It also features a selection of poems written by young people and adults who took part in poetry workshops led by Ann. Many thanks to everyone who came along to the launch it was a wonderful evening which reflected Ann's warmth, enthusiasm and love of poetry.

Over the last 2 years Ann has taken part in over 50 events, written 28 new poems inspired by Derbyshire and engaged with over 1300 audience members and participants. She has taken part in a cultural exchange to Mamelodi in South Africa; written poems about cricket legends, young Derbyshire sports people, the Enlightenment and Derbyshire's industrial heritage; and she has encouraged people to write their own poetry be it inspired by where they live or the paintings of Joseph Wright.

Ann has been fantastic to work with and a huge thank you to her for everything she has done to promote poetry over the last 2 years.

Ali Betteridge
Literature Development Officer