The search is on for a young person to be London’s first Young Poet Laureate as part of a long-term arts and culture programme, commissioned by the London Legacy Development Corporation.

The Young Poet Laureate will be the voice of young Londoners, writing poems which reflect on our ever changing capital. Young people aged 18-25 from across London are invited to apply to become one of six young poets who will take part in events and workshops over the summer. The Young Poet Laureate will be announced in October 2013.

Spoke is a new visionary poetry and spoken word programme that will offer people in east London an opportunity to watch, perform and develop careers in spoken word and performance poetry in and around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The programme is being developed by A New Direction together with Apples and Snakes,and Spread the Word.

Other activities taking place as part of the Spoke programme include:

  1. East Slam – a dynamic and surprising programme of free spoken word poetry performances for a range of audiences throughout public spaces in east London. Watch out for poets in shopping centres, parks, local libraries, and children’s centres as well as arts venues.
  2. Poetry Pathways – an in depth education programme taking place in six schools (in the first year) throughout Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest. Experienced spoken word artists will partner with each school, developing mentoring and training opportunities for young people and their teachers. There will also be workshops for local poets and training for professional writers.

Dennis Hone, chief executive, London Legacy Development Corporation, said:

“This programme is part of ambitious plans for arts and culture in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding area. It is our vision for east London to be a thriving cultural district, and the Park will play a key part in that transformation.”

Applications for the Young Poet Laureate for London close on Monday 24 June 2013, for details on how to apply and eligibility criteria go to