Young People’s Laureate
For London

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

During her tenure, Theresa will work with young people (aged 13-25) and will be engaging young people across London with poetry through: residencies and commissions; co-curating a Poetry Lab for talented young poets.

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


Introducing the new
Young People’s Laureate for London
Theresa Lola

  • News

Momtaza Mehri’s Year as Young People’s Laureate for London

  • Special Feature

No Name Club
by Momtaza Mehri

  • Special Feature

Voice Notes from London:
A Collaborative Poem

  • Creative Writing

Our Bodies Will
Not Be Policed

  • Interview

The new Young People’s Laureate for London
Momtaza Mehri

  • Archive

‘A Poem for London’
by talented young London poets

  • Creative Writing

Pooja Nansi reflects on
the Young Laureate Exchange

  • Blogs

Engaging Young People With Poetry

  • Archive

Caleb Femi reflects on his
time as Young People’s Laureate

  • Blogs
See More


“I hope to use this role to encourage young people to creatively engage in conversations about our wellbeing and mental health, to celebrate what self-care means to us and the things that give us hope as young Londoners. We will explore how to use poetry to communicate the impact that experiences such as school, social media and the workplace have on our mental health. In times of crisis, poetry is a healthy outlet that young people can use to voice their feelings.”

Theresa Lola

2019 Judges

Jacob Sam-La Rose

Young People’s Laureate for London Judge 2019

Joelle Taylor

Young People’s Laureate for London Judge 2019


Sign up to our mailing list to keep up to date
with Spread the Word’s news and opportunities.