Congratulations and felicitations to the county’s new Poet Laureate 2015, Heather Wastie. Heather describes herself as ‘Wordsmith, humourist and musician with a rich professional life as poet, composer, singer, songwriter, pianist and facilitator.‘
Heather grew up in the Black Country; in 2006 she moved to Kidderminster where she runs spoken word and music night, Mouth and Music. Anyone who has ever visited Mouth & Music in Kidderminster will be familiar with Heather’s incredible range, including her alter-ego Montserrat Carbonara.
In 2013 she was Writer in Residence at the Museum of Carpet, turning people’s memories into poems, monologues and songs which she now performs. This work will be published in 2015 by Black Pear Press under the title Weaving Yarns.
With Emma Purshouse, she co-founded Brewers’ Troupe performance poetry company which performs in pubs. She helped establish Croome Poets linked with Croome Court in Worcestershire where she also performs as an actor for Croome Encounters.
Heather has published three illustrated poetry collections and, as an oral historian, has compiled and edited two books of Black Country reminiscences which grew out of projects in Tipton and West Bromwich. She has recently completed commissions for the Canal & River Trust, Black Country Echoes, Birmingham LGBT choir Rainbow Voices, West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust and is working on an audio piece for and Apples and Snakes.
To find out more about Heather follow the links:
Heather was interviewed by Worcester News shortly after she won this year’s Laureateship and the interview led to a poem and a promise.
…and here is Heather’s first poem as Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2015.
Poet Laureate’s Promise
For a whole year
is poetically mine!
I could strut sonnets in Stourport
Hand out haikus in Hartlebury
Tinker with triolets in Tenbury Wells
Swan through Kidderminster kicking kennings
Conjure couplets in Cookley
Polish pantoums in Pershore
Dig up doggerel in Droitwich
Blurt out blank verse in Bewdley
and bawl ballads in Bromsgrove
Exclaim elegies in Evesham
Forage for free verse in Fairfield
Offer odes in Ombersley
Recite rondeaux in Redditch
Initiate idylls in Inkberrow
Lurk with limericks in Lickey …
My stanzas could spring up anywhere;
there’ll be a poetic kerfuffle.
And one thing I promise the Worcestershire folk:
my poems will never be waffle.
© Heather Wastie