The City of Wolverhampton Council’s Library Service and Boomwriter launched the hunt for a Young Poet Laureate in the autumn, and encouraged children and young people aged between 7 and 18 to submit a poem of any style based around the title of My City, My Future.
More than 200 entries were received and the winner was Elizabeth Stuart, a Year 12 student at Wolverhampton Girls High School, whose poem focussed on her love for Wolverhampton and her hopes for her future in the city.
Elizabeth said: "Being the first Young Poet Laureate for Wolverhampton means a great deal to me, as I have always been passionate about reading and creative writing, submerging myself in books from an early age.
"I’m very grateful to have been voted through to the final 16 submissions by other young people and it was incredible to then win the competition.
“I am a proud proponent of Wolverhampton and, when writing, I channelled my enthusiasm into the poem. I am looking forward to my performance at the Wolverhampton Literature Festival next month where I hope to show my love for my city, which inspired me to write this poem."
Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield, who was part of the judging panel, said: "We received some fabulous entries from talented young people across our great city and it was a tough job to pick a winner from the shortlist of 16.
“The judges were really impressed not only with the quality of Elizabeth's poem but also her performance and commitment to the city and we were delighted to appoint her Wolverhampton’s first Young Poet Laureate."
Elizabeth, along with other finalists, will read their poems at Central Library on Saturday 1 February from 5pm to 6pm, as part of Wolverhampton Literature Festival. Tickets are free and are available through Eventbrite. For more details, please visit Wolverhampton Literature Festival.
Meanwhile, the Young Poet Laureate is keen to form links with communities in Wolverhampton, and has already begun working with a number of local primary schools to spread her passion for creative writing with children. Since September, she has helping pupils at Merridale Primary School with guided reading and will be supporting them in a Key Stage 2 poetry competition shortly.