Derbyshire's poet laureate in the running for prestigious national prize

Poet Laureate Nov 2013

13 November 2013

Derbyshire's new Poet Laureate Helen Mort has been announced as a contender for the prestigious T.S.Eliot prize for poetry.

We recently appointed Helen to the Poet Laureate position, who is on a shortlist of 10 poets amongst some well-established names.

It is all the more remarkable that Helen's nomination is for her first full collection of poetry. 'Division Street' is published by Chatto & Windus and focuses on Sheffield and Derbyshire. It was launched in September and has received critical acclaim.

There were 113 books submitted by publishers for the prize which is now in its 20th year. Previous winners include Carol Ann Duffy, Seamus Heaney, John Burnside, Alice Oswald, Don Paterson, Sean O'Brien and Ted Hughes. The winner will be announced on January 13.

Helen, who was born in Sheffield in 1985 and grew up in Chesterfield, said:

"I'm inspired by the people and places I grew up with, the landscape of Sheffield, Chesterfield and the Peak District and it's great to see those local themes being recognised nationally."

Councillor Ellie Wilcox, Deputy Cabinet Member for Health and Communities said:

"This is wonderful news and I am sure that Helen will have further success during her two years as our Poet Laureate. It is also good to see poetry that celebrates our vibrant and diverse county being recognised.

I hope that Helen's story will inspire some of our youngsters to have a go at writing poetry and that it will encourage everyone about the opportunities that reading and writing offer to us all."

The Derbyshire Poet Laureate project was developed by the council to celebrate Derbyshire places, people and traditions through poetry. It also aims to encourage people to read and have a go at writing their own poetry.

More information about the Derbyshire Poet Laureate scheme can be found in our literacy development section and more information about the T.S. Eliot prize on the Poetry Books website (opens in a new window)

Copies of Division Street are available to borrow from Derbyshire libraries. For more information about our library services visit our library pages.

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