Don Barnard - Birmingham Poet Laureate 2004 - 5
andThe poor man excuses for not buying The First World Guide to Being Rich and Happy - a poem for Make Poverty History
PLUS ! Don's poem for Adult Learners' Week The Life Cycle of the Adult Learner Butterfly
Menorah - a poem sequence written for Holocaust Memorial Day 2005
Snow Hill - a seasonal poem by Don Barnard
Don Barnard was pronounced Birmingham 9th Poet Laureate on National Poetry Day 2004. He is a retired business consultant with an MA in Writing Poetry from Sheffield Hallam University. Don has been writing and performing poetry for the past ten years and is a tutor in writing poetry at Warwick University Centre for Lifelong Learning.
Councillor John Alden, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture said, I am delighted to welcome Don as Birmingham new Poet Laureate. Poetry is a wonderful way to celebrate Birmingham and its people and Don experience of working with all age-groups and communities will be invaluable in his new role as poetry ambassador for the city.
The post of Poet Laureate was established by Birmingham Libraries to encourage the writing and enjoyment of poetry in Birmingham. Don says, I am particularly interested in helping young people and the elderly to write and perform poetry and to use poetry to celebrate the diversity of the city.
Don aimed to promote Birmingham through his poetry and hoped to have the opportunity for a regular poetry slot on local radio and TV.
You can read Supermarket Blues which Don submitted for the Food Poetry Competition.
More about Don Barnard
Don has been writing and performing for ten years and holds an MA in Writing Poetry. For six years until 2004 he served on the organising committee of The Cannon Poets (based at the mac), three of those as Chair. For three years he edited The Cannons Mouth, their quarterly poetry magazine.
He has been commissioned to write many times, for example for The Eden Project and the Little Lion people.
He has performed poetry to large audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe, Cheltenham Literary Festival and Birmingham Fringe Festival and has won Poetry Slams in Birmingham, Cheltenham, Oxford and Swindon.
He wanted to celebrate Birmingham people in his work and to promote the city nationally as a poetry-friendly place. He aimed to raise the profile of poetry on local radio and in the local press and seek national publication of pieces and poems with a Birmingham slant.
He worked with Poetry Places and schools to take poetry out across the city and continued the strong links with Lit-Net, which the library has enjoyed for many years,
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About the Birmingham Poet Laureate