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Hampshire Poet 2024 – brief


Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) is working in partnership with Winchester Poetry Festival (WPF) to deliver the 2024–2026 Hampshire Poet Laureate programme. This is a two year tenure.

The work of the Hampshire Poet offers a facilitating platform to those with limited access, or with emerging or unheard voices, and to those experiencing life challenges, ensuring their stories are heard and valued. By leading workshops, giving readings, and co-crafting commissioned poems, the poet will inspire creativity and empower people of all ages and abilities, using the power, expressiveness, and playfulness of words, to develop their individual and community voices, and to express feelings, experiences, and emotions.

The Hampshire Poet programme has been running every two years since 2008 and was most recently held by Nazneen Ahmed Pathak in 2022-2023




The position of Hampshire Poet provides the opportunity for a Hampshire based poet (resident in and/or working in the county) to undertake commissions, lead workshops and give readings and talks throughout the county, and to act as an advocate for poetry and poets.
Opportunities have been identified throughout the two years for the Hampshire Poet to play a significant role, providing the poet with the chance to create new work, engage members of the community and connect to programmes across the county already taking place during the two years.

Key opportunities will include:


  • Participation in Heritage Open Days 2024 and 2025

  • Act as judge for the Hampshire Young Poets’ Competition 2024 and 2025 (The 2024 theme is, ‘Our World, Our Planet’).

  • Participation at Winchester Poetry Festival events including at Winchester Poetry Day 2024 and the ‘Hampshire Poet presents’ event to be scheduled at the Winchester Poetry Festival 2025

  • Participation within the Jane Austen 250th anniversary in 2025

  • Opportunity to work alongside HCT’s museum’s collections for new commissions

  • Work with Whitchurch Conservation Group* (WCG) to identify, lead and undertake limited but exploratory consultation with focused local communities in the Basingstoke area of the North Wessex Downs National Landscape, through the medium of poetry, and to explore and pilot partnerships and test potential for a future larger scale Landscape Heritage Poet-in-Residence programme (subject to funding) going forward. (NB There is some limited additional budget available for this work from WCG.)

Other relevant opportunities might include:

● Community workshops focused on (examples only):

o increasing access and building inclusion
o mental health/wellbeing,

o Engagement with people of all ages and backgrounds

● Events and or commissions inspired by heritage sites and / or exhibitions

The Role and the Prospective Appointee

The successful candidate will be a Hampshire based poet (including Southampton and Portsmouth), a confident communicator, and with a friendly, lively and personable approach to working with the public. The appointed poet should be willing to travel throughout the county.

The successful appointee will be able to demonstrate the following:

● Experience as a poet (written and/or spoken)
● Experience of running poetry workshops and engaging with both experienced poets and beginners
● Ability to ensure an approach which results in high quality experiences for audiences and presenters
● Experience of running creative writing workshops/sessions including experience of working with young people or in community settings or with vulnerable groups
● Experience of performance of poetry and engaging communities
● Interest and experience in the role of poetry in addressing mental health and well-being issues
● Strong organisational, communication, time-keeping, administrative and project management skills
● Confident, flexible, and approachable
● Strong interpersonal skills to work effectively with WPF, both face-to-face and via telephone and video conference
● Availability to deliver the project in line with the requirements outlined in the brief
● Able to report back and share outcomes through regular updates, reports, and final evaluations.


The appointed poet will be self-motivated and self-managing. Hampshire Cultural Trust and Winchester Poetry Festival are also looking for a creative, innovative, and flexible approach. The precise delivery details will be negotiated and confirmed in discussion with the appointed poet.


a. To strengthen a sense of community, inclusivity, and belonging through poetry.
b. To use poetry as a tool to improve participants mental and emotional well-being.
c. To take poetry into surprising places for non-poetry-reading audiences; to encourage the poetry curious to dip a toe into the poetry world (e.g. as part of new audiences for poetry events locally (including those run by WPF) and as new members of poetry-writing groups locally, and to reach participants in environments that are culturally poor who might otherwise not encounter poetry in their daily lives and build sustainable routes for ongoing participation).
d. To reach children and young people both in and outside school through e.g. partnerships with schools and informal education settings (links might be made with Hampshire Cultural Education Partnership, Hampshire Cultural Trust, School Library Service).
e. For the appointed Hampshire Poet to broaden and develop their skills, contacts, and to grow confidence, build experience, and enhance expertise in their role both as a poet and as a poetry facilitator.

NB the finessing and confirmation of aims and objectives will be negotiated with the appointed Hampshire Poet to ensure these are current and represent the appointee’s strength and skills.


Application deadline: Wednesday 31st January 2024 (midnight)

Interviews (in person): w/c 4th March 2024
Tenure: April 2024 – March 2026 - including project report

4) FEE


There will be a total inclusive fee of £4,000 for this brief over the two-year period, which will include an agreed number of commissioned poems, activities and events. (Anything additional to this will be agreed and may be funded separately, subject to funds available.)


The appointed poet will be contracted by Winchester Poetry Festival


To apply to be the 2024-2026 Hampshire Poet, please send us the following:


  • Your CV

  • 4 poems that are your own original work

  • 500-750 words saying why you were attracted to the role and what you feel you could bring to it - referring to the brief - and also to one or more of the key opportunities outlined above.

  • Contact details of 2 referees (referees will not be contacted without your permission)

  • Confirmation of current DBS* clearance and Public Liability Insurance


(Festival Manager, Winchester Poetry Festival)


You can download the full Hampshire Poet 2024-26 brief here

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