Lincolnshire’s first Poet Laureate is named

Writer and performer Joel Stickley (28) will be Lincolnshire’s first Poet Laureate.

He was chosen from a shortlist of six, drawn up after 19 poets applied for the new post, which was advertised nationally.

The Laureate’s tenure is initially for six months, officially starting in May.

Stickley will work with young people and adults across the county to support the writing and presentation of poetry.

“Lincolnshire has such a rich history of poetry and creativity — it’s a real honour to be part of that tradition,” he said.

“I can’t wait to start work. This is going to be an exciting summer for the arts with all the Igniting Ambition and Lincolnshire Showcase events.

“There are so many wonderful creative things going on that I certainly won’t be short of inspiration.”

The Laureate will write a poem each month which will be posted on the Igniting Ambition and Lincolnshire County Council websites.

Stickely is now looking for ideas for unusual places he can do readings in.

He will also represent the county at regional and national arts festivals and help to put on live poetry events and workshops.

Stickely hails from nearby Nottinghamshire and had his work featured on BBC Radios 3, 4 and 7 as well as ITV, Channel 4 and Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

As a member of poetry collective Aisle16, he has performed at Glastonbury, the Edinburgh Fringe, Port Eliot Lit Fest, the Latitude festival, the Athens International Book Fair and numerous literary events across the UK.

A first poem for Lincolnshire

Joel Stickley has written a short poem about his reaction to his appointment:

By Way Of Introduction

Into the valley of the A46,
the valley of roadworks and limestone bricks,
of airfields and wheat fields and beet fields and grey seals;
into the valley of Donna Nook.
Into the valley of Market Deeping,
of Heckington, Quarrington, Donington, Luddington,
Horncastle, Mablethorpe, Winterton, Waddington,
Alford and Sleaford and Stamford and Manthorpe
and Spalding and Grantham and Epworth and Scunthorpe.
Into the valley of Skegness.
Into the valley of mean more but say less –
into the valley of poetry,
of knowing we have something to say.
Into the valley, then up and away.

Source: Cultural Solutions