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Young People’s Laureate
For London

SPREAD THE WORD’S YOUNG PEOPLE’S LAUREATE FOR LONDON, CECILIA KNAPP GIVES LONDON’S YOUNG PEOPLE A VOICE THROUGH POETRY. 

The Young People’s Laureate’s mission is to:

• Raise the visibility of poetry in the capital, nationally and internationally;

• Engage and inspire London’s young people with poetry through the issues that affect them;

• Support the development of London’s talented young poets in a tangible way.

Each year an esteemed judging panel selects a poet to become the Young People’s Laureate for London. On National Poetry Day, 1 October 2020, Cecilia Knapp was announced as the new Young People’s Laureate for London.

Caleb Femi was the first Young People’s Laureate 2016-18. Momtaza Mehri was the Young People’s Laureate 2018-19. Theresa Lola was the Young People’s Laureate for London 2019-2020. Previously, Spread the Word ran the Young Poet Laureate scheme, a role which was held by Selina Nwulu, Aisling Fahey and Warsan Shire.

Helping young people have their voices heard at a time of uncertainty and upheaval is Cecilia’s mission. Over the next year, Cecilia will undertake placements on four youth-focused residencies across the capital as well as receiving a range of mentoring and poetry-development opportunities to enhance her own career progression.

The programme is funded by Arts Council England and supported by a wide range of partners.

You can keep up to date with what the Young People’s Laureate for London is doing here, or through social media #YoungPeoplesLaureate

If you’d like to book the Laureate for a residency, event or commission, please email laureate@spreadtheword.org.uk

“Sharing stories is the greatest breeder of empathy. They show us how to walk in each other’s shoes and demonstrate the beautiful variety of humans in the world. I want my year as Laureate to be about collecting and celebrating stories from those who’s 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.”

Cecilia Knapp, Young People's Laureate for London 2020-2021

Cecilia's poetry

LOROS


You Know a Market Where the Tulips are Still Three Quid


Honey Locust, Baby


In our garden


Young Roots Group poems

Here we’re thrilled to share poems written by young women who took part in a series of online workshops with Cecilia when she was in residence with Young Roots and the Refugee Council. The aim of the workshops was to support the young women to use poetry to help them express themselves and to find ways to share experiences and support each other – especially when isolated during lockdown. They created some astonishing work as a group that we’re thrilled to share with you here. The poems are published here anonymously.

Illustrations by Jess Nash.

The Right


You Are


Spring


Untitled


Our Places


I've Been Thinking About

After Danusha Laméris


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