Nominate the next poet laureate

It struck me that Poet Laureate Andrew Motion is nearing the end of his 10-year reign. As of May, we’ll have someone else penning poetry for majestic occasions, and no one much outside No.10 knows who it’s going to be.

So who’s up to the challenge? Is there someone out there with a brilliant gift for words? I’m ruling Morrissey out for writing The Queen is Dead and living in LA, but other than that anyone from Pete[r] Doherty to Stephen Fry goes. My vote goes to comedian Stewart Lee for his services of cynicism to the nation.

If you were in charge, who would you pick to be next poet laureate?

Claire Fogg

(Publisher, Yearbooks, A&C Black)

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10 Comments

Filed under Writing Advice

10 responses to “Nominate the next poet laureate

  1. adamhorovitz

    Stewart Lee would make a good court jester – a role that really should be revived. The current leadership (any leadership, in fact) needs someone, employed by them, to take the piss publicly.

  2. Ed

    Ticking the ‘court jester’ box, combined with a exhibiting a knack for creating verse that I’m now finding hard to expunge from my mind, how about either Philip or James from The Apprentice? I’m sure their respective Pantsman and Treasure Flakes jingles from last night’s episode stirred the hearts and minds (and stomachs) of many a viewer across the land!

  3. Naden

    I vote for Obama

    The road ahead will be long.
    Our climb will be steep.
    We may not get there in one year or even one term,
    but America
    – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.
    I promise you – we as a people will get there.

  4. My vote, although I acknowledge that Stewart Lee would do a fine job (and Stephen Fry has a very large place in my heart) goes to Benjamin Zephaniah. He’s such a cool dude (and I never even say things like that!), so so passionate and a really lovely man besides. I think Benjamin would strive to modernise the whole concept of the ‘Poet Laureate’ and make poetry accessible to all. To me, that’s a big deal.

    Warm wishes, Jo

  5. Ruth C

    In my view it’s definitely time we had a female laureate so I’d be pleased to see Carol Ann Duffy or Wendy Cope. Particularly the former, as she should have been the pick in 1999 anyway.

    But I do love the idea of Stewart Lee.

  6. I’ll add my vote for a female laureate, and I think Wendy Cope would be fabulous! I can imagine her dry sardonic take on royal gaffes being well worth a read.

  7. ptdiep

    I assume the poet laureate should relish the task of writing ‘poetry to order’, after all it is much harder than writing ‘our own poems’.

    Writing ‘poetry to order’ may even take a poet to the next level where their poems may actually be of the quality that lasts to become ‘classics’ of their age – read a hundred years from now.

    Hopefully the next poet laureate will be a role model for children – a good poet who can write poetry to order – which is, after all, what teachers ask of children and poetry professors ask of their students.

    That still leaves the question of someone suitable…

  8. James

    Yes, there was poetry in Motion
    but his reign’s dead, brown bread,
    what we need now is a modern laureate,
    a mystic, jingle-istic Mad Man, perhaps?

    We need a bard, hard on our politicians.
    Versed in the issues of the day
    not the Queen’s day-to-day engagements,
    Someone who steps up to the plate and inspires
    us to punch above the state of the nation.

    We need a poetic wikipedia, a people’s voice,
    constantly updated, a collective consciousness.
    A kind of national log,
    We need a laureate blog…

  9. charlotte

    i rather like John Hegley with his slightly silly take on life, making poetry out of all sorts of mundane things. but who really cares about the poet laureate anyway. Maybe a more modern take on it would be Linton Kwesi Johnson. though really i favour it being a woman but can’t think of any real options – my lack of awareness rather than lack of good candidates i’m sure

  10. woohoo! they were obviously tapping into our suggestions, as Carol Ann Duffy has it!