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Birmingham City Council

Birmingham Young Poet Laureate 2010-2011

Young Poet Laureate Birmingham

Jordan Westcarr was the sixth Young Poet Laureate for Birmingham

16 year old Jordan, from Great Barr School was one of more than 80 young people who applied to be our sixth Young Poet Laureate. The announcement was made on National Poetry Day, Thursday 7 October 2010.

Jordan was presented with the award by the poet Jo Bell at a special ceremony in Centre for the Child. He also received a gift token for £100 worth of books from Carl McInerney, Managing Director of Peters who are sponsoring the role.


Jordan said:

"Poetry is often considered, as the blurry, misunderstood side of English, which may make it seem unattractive to many young minds. However the beauty of poetry is interpretation and that there is no right or wrong answer. Therefore the emotions or messages you feel from a particular poem maybe entirely different to somebody else’s. That’s what drew me in to this bendable art form; its wide range of possibilities and angles only suggests that your expression can be limitless.

For me poetry has been a mental escape, and a way to tap into my emotions by putting pen to paper. It has allowed me to discuss my frustrations and beliefs and to also share them with other people. Self-expression to me is vital, especially as a teenager living in a cultural, colourful city such as Birmingham.

I believe relatable faces should represent poetry to encourage minds and eyes from different backgrounds to leave their distinctive viewpoint on a white page. This is key for human understanding and life progression, the importance of being able to read about other cultures, lifestyles, emotions or even love lives."

Jordan also looked forward to promoting poetry to young people in Birmingham throughout the year.

"For teenagers to see somebody their own age and social class talk about their love for poetry would generate a sense of comfort and will allow them to be more open with their own forms of self expression."

Read some of Jordan's poems
The four powerful poems which Jordan submitted when he applied for the post of Young Poet Laureate cover themes as diverse as love, adventure, violence and belonging.
Jordan wrote more poems while he was Laureate, including a special Remembrance Day poem for his school and a poem for Holocaust Memorial Day.

Jordan's blog
Jordan let us know about his experiences throughout the year in his online diary.

More about the Young Poet Laureate