The hunt is on for Wolverhampton’s second Poet Laureate – to play a starring role in the sixth Wolverhampton Literature Festival early next year.

City of Wolverhampton Council is looking to appoint the next Poet Laureate who will be a champion of poetry for the city. They will write poems to commission during their tenure, as well as work on poetry events during the festival and throughout their time in the role. 

The post will be honorary, lasting 2 years, and it will continue the great work of our outgoing Poet Laureate, Emma Purshouse, to encourage and raise the profile of poetry and the city.

Councillor Stephen Simkins, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “The Literature Festival is a great opportunity for everyone to get involved.

“Last year’s festival was a great success and Emma did us proud as Poet Laureate. I wish all applicants for the Poet Laureate role the best of luck and look forward to seeing them at next year’s festival.”

Festival organisers bid farewell and give massive thanks to Emma Purshouse who has been a true champion of Poetry and creative writing. She has been an outstanding first Poet Laureate, with a true love and passion for the craft and Wolverhampton, and we look forward to seeing all the amazing things that Emma will continue to do. 

Emma said: "It is a real pleasure and a privilege to be the Poet Laureate for your home city, and a role I've very much loved doing for the past two years.  

“If you enjoy writing poetry and love Wolverhampton then you should definitely apply.  It's a great opportunity to wax lyrical about and celebrate the place we live in."

Poets can apply to become Wolverhampton’s second Poet Laureate by sending in a short description (up to one side of A4) detailing how they meet the criteria for the post, along with a sample poem. Applications can also be submitted by audio/video (Max. 5 minutes).

We are looking for a poet with: 

  • a close connection with Wolverhampton
  • published poems or collections
  • experience of writing poems to commission
  • an enthusiasm and ability for promoting poetry to a wide audience
  • experience and capability in public engagement
  • performance and workshop experience

Applicants should be aged 18 and over and send their applications to Wolverhampton Art Gallery or to by the  30 September 2021. 

Please note this is an unpaid, honorary position. Any prospective applicants are welcome to get in contact to discuss the post in more detail. 

The sixth Wolverhampton Literature Festival will take place from Friday 4 February to Sunday 6 February 2022. Applicants must be available over this weekend to perform as a part of the festival programme of events. 

The festival organisers are encouraging applications from poets who are underrepresented in our programming, including, but not limited to, disabled artists and people from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds.