Renowned poet Lemn Sissay presented 21 year old Aisling with the title, at a reception at the RSA on National Poetry Day (2 October).
Aisling’s role will provide comment and reflections on current events across the capital throughout the coming year, as well as working with communities and London based organisations to inspire and inform through poetry. She says of her new prestigious role:
“I still can’t quite believe I’ve been given the role of Young Poet Laureate for London. I am so excited to work with Spread the Word over the next year to develop as a writer and as a professional artist. I’m ready to put my all into the role, to generate conversations with Londoners about issues close to their hearts, and to make poetry more accessible as an art form. I want to create a strong body of work over the year, and also to help Londoners create their own poems which tell their individual stories.”
Aisling says she’s always been a writer, ever since making poems with magnetic strips on her dad’s fridge. Recently graduated from University of Exeter, her poetry often addresses the concerns and realities of being a young woman. Aisling was shortlisted for last year’s Young Poet Laureate for London, and has benefitted from a year of development opportunities including performing at the Barbican Young Poets Showcase in April this year, and in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Aisling was selected from a shortlist of six young poets aged 18-25 by a high profile panel, including poets Nick Makoha and Jacob Sam La Rose. The shortlisted poets were: Rachel Long, Clare Mulley, Ella Frears, Laurie Bolger and Debris Stevenson.