Joseph Coelho, Waterstones Children’s Laureate for 2022-2024, will visit Central Library in Wolverhampton next week as part of his nationwide ‘Library Marathon’, championing local libraries inspiring a love of reading in young people.

The award-winning performance poet, playwright, and children’s author visit is visiting a library in every local authority in the UK – more than 200 libraries in total – with the aim of encouraging people, young and old, to join their local library.

He will be at Central Library next Thursday (13 April) from 3.15pm to 4.15pm, where he will read to and perform for children. The event is free but booking is essential; please call 01902 552023 to book tickets.

Joseph said: "Libraries made me a writer and make communities thrive. They have been a vital part of my life, from living on estates where I had a library next door, to my first Saturday job, to working at the British Library whilst studying at UCL, to touring theatre shows designed to be performed in libraries.

"I’m immensely grateful to libraries and the services they provide, so I want to use my platform as the Waterstones Children’s Laureate to champion these essential launchpads of learning. I want to hug every library, these miraculous institutions where new horizons line the shelves, where minds go to grow.” 

Rob Johnson, City Librarian, said: "We are looking forward to welcoming Joseph to Central Library next week where he will be sharing his love of reading with youngsters. This is an opportunity not to be missed, but places are limited, so please book your free tickets today."

Joseph’s ‘Library Marathon’ began prior to his appointment as the foremost representative of children’s literature, the Waterstones Children’s Laureate, and was put on hold due to the Covid pandemic. 

Now Joseph – who is known for his work including the Luna Loves picture books, middle grade series Fairy Tales Gone Bad, YA verse novel The Girl Who Became a Tree, as well as poetry collections for all ages including Overheard in a Tower Block and Poems Aloud – is set to complete his campaign by putting library advocacy at the heart of his laureateship.