Books / Poetry

Could you be Bristol’s next City Poet?

By martin booth, Tuesday Apr 21, 2020

Bristol’s official City Poet is paid £5,000 to write a dozen poems over their two-year term of office.

A new initiative from mayor Marvin Rees at the start of his own term of office, the City Poet also takes part in public performances and community engagement activities.

The first holder of the title was Miles Chambers, followed by Vanessa Kisuule, with applications now open for the next poet.

The role of the City Poet runs for two years and is managed by Bristol Cultural Development Partnership (BCDP) as part of the Bristol Festival of Ideas in association with the Mayor’s Office.

“Traditionally – and in line with the national Poet Laureate objectives – the City Poet taps into public opinion and acts as a communicator of local views,” says Naomi Miller from BCDP.

“They can become the conscience of the public and can also reflect on what makes the city tick. What they convey through their poetry and creative writing can provide important insights onto contemporary events and feelings, not all of which may make for comfortable reading.”

Rees added: “At a time when we need to share our common experience, commemorate what we’ve been through and look together at the challenge of rebuilding, the post of City Poet is a huge opportunity for someone to represent Bristol and tell our story.

“Miles Chambers and Vanessa Kisuule have set a high benchmark to follow. Their words have enhanced important events in the city and I’m thankful to them for sharing their distinctive voices.”

Applicants should be experienced poets living in Bristol. For more information and to apply, visit

Main photo: BCDP

Read more: City Poet pens poem to Park Street

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