Cecilia Knapp is the new
Young People’s Laureate for London


Spread the Word is delighted to announce that Cecilia Knapp is the new Young People’s Laureate for London. 

The Young People’s Laureate for London scheme seeks to give London’s young people a voice through poetry. Knapp will succeed outgoing Laureate Theresa Lola in this role, with both poets marking the transition with a conversation about the role shared on Instagram at 6pm on Thursday 1 October, National Poetry Day.

Justine Simons, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries says: “I’m excited to see Cecilia use her passion for poetry to inspire and help other young people to navigate their thoughts and feels as well as potentially find a new interest in writing and enjoying literature.”

Jacob Sam-La Rose, Poet and one of the Young People’s Laureate interview panel says: “The Young People’s Laureateship for London has a sterling lineage, representing a breadth of contemporary poetry and creative practice. Cecilia Knapp furthers that lineage in all the best ways. She’s a striking writer with an arresting capacity for speaking to everything that makes us human.”

Rishi Dastidar, Poet and Spread the Word’s Chair of Trustees said: “I’m delighted that Cecilia is our latest Young People’s Laureate for London. The Laureate is uniquely able to reach and work with young people whose views and opinions are overlooked, forgotten or ignored. And through her work, and her words, Cecilia will bring these voices and concerns to wider audiences.”

Cecilia Knapp says: “I’m absolutely delighted to be taking on the role of Young People’s Laureate this year. I want my year as Laureate to be about collecting and celebrating stories from those whose stories haven’t been told, working with London’s young people who haven’t had a chance to find their voice yet. Their voices are an essential contribution to the life of this city.

When I was younger, my confidence, my voice, my direction, the way I see myself was completely changed by accidentally attending a writing workshop. The opportunity to work with even more of London’s young people on a larger scale, in different settings, collaborating, getting to know more voices during my year as Laureate is so exciting.”

To mark the beginning of her Laureateship, Cecilia has prepared a reading of “LOROS”, one of her first poems to be published. It is a poem about her mother, specifically losing her, and what it means to be a woman in today’s society. It is heartfelt, beautiful and lyrical – and we’re looking forward to seeing more from Cecilia over the next year.

For more information and updates on Cecilia’s upcoming projects as the new Young People’s Laureate for London, please visit:

Published 1 October 2020