Who doesn’t like picking a winner?

The TWS has been keeping an eye on the forerunners and the race is on for the UK’s new Poet Laureate, as Carol Ann Duffy steps down after completing an amazing ten years in the post in Spring 2019. So here’s the lowdown of what’s happening;


Whoever takes the job will have to be poet who is willing to write a poem to mark royal occasions, and over the next ten years this will likely include a state funeral. They will also, have to represent the British nation’s sentiments and response to such future events. According to Simon Armitage,[1] they will also need to know the following; who wrote Lycidas, (John Milton), recite a poem by Sappho (a female ancient Greek poet), you could try learning:  


‘One Girl,’ [2]


Like the sweet apple which reddens upon the topmost bough,

Atop on the topmost twig, — which the pluckers forgot, somehow, —

Forget it not, nay; but got it not, for none could get it till now.



Like the wild hyacinth flower which on the hills is found,

Which the passing feet of the shepherds for ever tear and wound,

Until the purple blossom is trodden in the ground.


Also, you need to have read Beowulf or The Iliad and name a poem by Emily Dickson (we recommend ‘Fame is a Bee,’) and Dereck Walcott ( we love ‘Sea Grapes,’).


‘Fame is a Bee,’[3]


Fame is a bee.

It has a song—

It has a sting—

Ah, too, it has a wing.


‘Sea Grapes,’[4]


That sail which leans on light,

tired of islands,

a schooner beating up the Caribbean


for home, could be Odysseus,

home-bound on the Aegean;

that father and husband’s


If you have all this covered, then you might be able to apply for the job, providing you can make yourself available for the next ten years!!! Poets who are in the running include Simon Armitage, while Benjamin Zephaniah has said no to even being in the race, but watch this space as it’s starters orders….


Let us know, which poets you are backing to win the coveted Poet Laureate (I’m tipping Simon Armitage as a favourite to win !!!)