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Staffordshire celebrates new poets laureate

Staffordshire Libraries and  Arts services are proud to announce Dawn Jutton to the role of Staffordshire Poet Laureate and Mina Tideswell as the Young Poet Laureate.

The pair were appointed on National Poetry Day at a special celebration, Word Stafford Poetry night, at Stafford Library on Thursday 6th October.

Both Dawn and Mina entertained audiences with their poetry and spoke about their vision to promote poetry across the county in their new roles.

Staffordshire’s most recent Poets Laureate, Mel Woodend and Young Poet Laureate Erin Gascoigne-Jones also attended the event to pass on the baton and share their experience of the role and what they had both achieved.

Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture at Staffordshire County Council said:

“I’m delighted to welcome two new poets to these prestigious laureateships, the appointments are great news for the county and will help us promote the enjoyment of poetry and spoken word to a much wider audience.

“Last year Mel and Erin did a wonderful job of promoting poetry across the county, and I would like to thank them for all their hard work.  I’m now looking forward to seeing what Dawn and Mina have planned for the year ahead.”

Dawn Jutton, Stafford based Visual Artist and Poet said:

“It’s a real honour to be the new Staffordshire Poet Laureate. I’m looking forward to bringing my commitment to diversity and experience of engaging people through creative activities.  I hope to create new opportunities for poetry and poets to become a regular feature in our everyday lives.

“I plan to take poetry and poets into the community through a series of residencies.  This will celebrate poetry’s ability to express ideas, frustrations and joy.  It will help to reach more diverse and previously unheard Staffordshire voices by supporting LGBTQ+, older or young people or people new to writing.  This will help give voice to issues that affect their daily lives.”

Mina, who is currently studying at Endon High School is the ninth Young Poet Laureate for the county.  Mina said:

“I am incredibly honoured to have been named Staffordshire Young Poet Laureate.  Poetry is an extraordinary avenue to express thoughts, feelings and observations about the things we see and experience around us.

“I am particularly passionate about sharing the positive impact that poetry can have on mental health. I hope to inspire and encourage other young people to explore a little into their own infinite world of creativity through writing during my tenure as Young Poet Laureate.”

The role of the Poet Laureate and the Young Poet Laureate is to encourage a wider appreciation and enjoyment of poetry across Staffordshire.

People can follow their progress by following Staffordshire libraries on social media.

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