Following a county-wide search, the hunt for the Hampshire Poet 2020 is over.
Kathryn Bevis from
Winchester was chosen as Hampshire Poet 2020 from a very strong field of writers from all over the county who applied for the sought-after post.
The appointment of the Hampshire Poet takes place every two years and this year is being run by a partnership between Hampshire Cultural Trust and Winchester Poetry Festival.
The position of Hampshire Poet provides the opportunity for a Hampshire-based poet 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 2020 for the Hampshire Poet to play a significant role, providing Kathryn with the chance to create new work, engage members of the community and connect to planned activities taking place across the county during the year.
Kathryn Bevis is a poet and educator. She read English as an undergraduate at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, and Theology as a graduate at Regent’s Park College, Oxford. She is founder and director of The Writing School in Winchester, teaching creative writing to adults. Kathryn hosts a Poetry for Wellbeing project for service users of the mental health charity Mind across Hampshire, funded by Arts Council England. Her poems have been published and anthologised in print and online by: Nine Arches Press, Parthian Books, Words for The Wild, The Black Bough, and The Fenland Poetry Journal (forthcoming). Kathryn’s work has won several recent awards, including being shortlisted for the Nine Arches Press Primers V scheme, winning first prize in the Poets and Players and the Against the Grain competitions, third prize in the Welshpool Poetry Festival competition, and runner up in the Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry.
Stephen Boyce, poet and chair of the Winchester Poetry Festival, said: ‘I’m delighted in this appointment. Kathryn is extremely talented and has the energy and imagination to make a huge success of her laureateship. I’m confident that she will raise the profile of poetry and poets in the county, and that this will be a turning point in her own career as a poet.’
Deborah Neubauer of Hampshire Cultural Trust added: ‘We are thrilled that Kathryn has been appointed and are very much looking forward to working with her over the coming months in the cultural projects that we run with groups and communities throughout the county.’
Robyn Bolam, Hampshire Poet 2018, commented: ‘I welcome Kathryn to the role of Hampshire Poet and hope she will find the experience as enjoyable and as fulfilling as I did.'
On hearing the news, Kathryn said: ‘I’m delighted to accept the role and will work my hardest to advocate for poetry and poets in Hampshire. It will be wonderful to work in closer collaboration with Winchester Poetry Festival and Hampshire Cultural Trust and I’m very excited about the opportunities on offer’.