We have chosen 12 finalists to compete for the title of Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2012/2013 and they will battle it out against each other at the Swan Theatre in Worcester on Friday 15th June at 7.30pm. Here you can find out a bit about the finalists – good luck to all those shortlisted:
Timothy P Stavert – Malvern
Timothy P Stavert has been writing for over twenty years, (fourteen years while he was an engineer). He mainly writes fiction stories, but compliments them with poetry. He has have also written non-fiction articles and letters as well as using his writing skills for editing and proofreading. His original inspiration for writing, was telling stories to his children and his favourite Authors are Steven King, R.J Tolkien, C.S Lewis, J.K. Rowling, naming but a few.
Amy Rainbow – Malvern
Amy Rainbow was born in Worcester and now lives in a cottage beyond the Malvern Hills. A fully qualified philosopher, her hobbies include hula hooping, tightwire-walking, juggling and stargazing. Current Malvern Poetry Slam Champion, her poetic highlights so far this year include performances at Cheltenham Poetry Festival and Stratford Literary Festival. Amy enjoys bringing poetry to people who claim they don’t usually like it, and her first collection, ‘Poems of the Unrequited’, tells tall tales of life’s eternal dilemmas involving love and loss, drunk unicycling, joining the Women’s Institute, and beards. Amy would like to teach the world to rhyme.
Jilly Duckworth – Worcester
Jilly Duckworth was born in Worcester and trained as a nurse, and after working for ten years she undertook a Creative Arts Degree, which included art, creative writing and dance. She went on to discover my ‘inner nun’ and ‘Mo the People’s Nun’ was born. She has performed hither (up north) and thither (down south) ever since. She have also performed spoken word without my habit(!) and for the bard competition she has included one nun poem and one non-nun poem. She has worked as an advocate for young people and currently runs creative writing and art project workshops for teenagers who have been ill.
Maggie Doyle – Bromsgrove
Maggie Doyle has been writing poetry for the last seven years, performing poetry for the last three. She likes to be topical, funny and poignant and enjoys a little twist in the tail of some pieces. She is a quarter of the Decadent Poetry Divas where she is able to explore another side to her persona, and am a founder member of Write Down Speak Up, a new venture taking poetry to schools and cities. She has been a finalist for Birmingham Poet Laureate, and for the Bard of Worcestershire last year.
Damon Lord – Worcester
Damon Lord is probably the only entrant in this competition who can speak Esperanto fluently. He has been writing since the age of six. Originally from Wales, he has called Worcester his home since 2008. When not writing, he likes to learn obscure languages, and may even sometimes be observed holding down a day-job in IT.
Catherine Crosswell – Malvern
Catherine Crosswell embraces the CupCake, but secretly prefers the fairy. Catherine lives with her family in Malvern and is a member of the local a capella singing group Four Tart Harmony, plays guitar in Latin American Guitar duet Tres Primos and consequently constantly tries to sneak music into her poetry! Last year she supported John Cooper Clarke and now shares a book with him as she was published in the ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ compilation of Malvern Poets’ work which includes work from nationally recognised artists.
Sarah James – Droitwich
Prize-winning poet Sarah James has been a guest poet across the Midlands and read at The Troubadour in London. Widely published in poetry journals and national anthologies, her collection Into the Yell won third prize in the International Rubery Book Awards 2011. Her poetry success includes first prizes in Exmoor Society, Oxford University and Jawdance competitions. She has a permanent poem on the Polesworth Poets’ Trail, Warwickshire, and another muralled in Park’s Café, Droitwich. She also runs the Poetry Society’s Worcestershire stanza, is secretary of Droitwich Arts Network, has been poet in residence at Worcester’s Oxfam Bookshop, organises spoken word events and is joint poetry editor on Be: magazine. Her Worcestershire Literary Festival 2012 exhibition and workshop An Eyeful of Words is aimed at encouraging aspiring poets and using art to bring poetry to a wider audience. Her website is http://www.sarah-james.co.uk .
Jenna Plewes – Redditch
Jenna Plewes has been published widely in the small press, and is working towards her first collection. After a lot of travelling she have been in Withybed Green happily settled for 30 years. She is a psychotherapist, and couple counsellor and used to be a part time potter too. Now retired she concetrates on her writing, sharing her time with a husband, a Border Collie, grandchildren and a large garden.
Geof Richmond – Malvern
Geof Richmond is originally from North London and moved to Swindon in 1978. Very sporty, semi-pro football,cricket for MCC Colts. Was Project Co-ordinator, Economist, Corporate Planner, MD of own company and now early retired, write and paint and grow herbs. Close to completing 2 novels. Partnered by Judy returned to Malvern in 2010. He adores Worcestershire and supports the Warriors, Worcs CC and the racecourse, some with more success than others!
Suz Winspear – Worcester
Suz Winspear is a well-known performer on the Worcester spoken word scene, writing both prose and poetry. She has also performed in Gloucester, Birmingham, and at numerous literary events. Her non-fiction book on the Worcester Theatre Royal was published in 1996 and she is known as the “Midlands sexiest gothic poet”.
Brenda Reid-Brown – Worcester
Brenda Reid-Brown gave up a secure career as a project manager to be a writer; it seemed a good idea at the time. Since then she’s won many poetry slams, and performed her poetry on Radio 4, and in Texas, Denmark, several festivals, and any number of low pubs, and been published in magazines and anthologies. What gives her the greatest pleasure is helping other people find their words. She’s Writer in Residence at Shrewsbury Prison, Cheltenham Hospital Oncology Unit, and a local GP surgery, and runs Writing Squads for young people in Hereford. Every day is a privilege.
Tim Cranmore – Malvern
Tim Cranmore was born in the fifties, raised in the sixties, read in the seventies, bred in the eighties, suffered the nineties, fled in the noughties, then he started writing poetry….