Welcome to YPL For London

Welcome to the home page for the Young Poet Laureate for London and the London Laureates.

Young Poet Laureate for London is a position awarded annually to a poet aged 21 -30 living in London. This prestigious award recognises talent and potential and provides a career–changing programme of engagements, professional development and networking. The role celebrates emerging literary talent and provides a platform for commenting on life in London from the viewpoint of a young person. The current YPL is Selina Nwulu.

London Laureates is the collective name for the poets shortlisted for the role of Young Poet Laureate. All will have gone through an intensive development programme as part of a rigorous selection process. London Laureates have found the experience of being shortlisted beneficial to their careers – find out more about them on the London Laureates page.

Selina Nwulu named as Young Poet Laureate for London 2015 – 2016

London’s Writer Development Agency, Spread the Word is delighted to announce that the new Young Poet Laureate for London is

Selina Nwulu

Photo by Caro Swan from Swanaround Photography

brilliant and passionate poet Selina Nwulu.

Supported by Foundation for FutureLondon, the Young Poet Laureate for London role will offer Selina the opportunity to work across London’s diverse communities, bringing untold tales to the fore.

One of this year’s judges, Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry recipient Imtiaz Dhakar, told us, “Selina Nwulu’s poems have a skill and subtlety that lift them well out of the ordinary. They work on the page and she performs them with confidence and conviction.”

The Young Poet Laureate for London will have a busy year, including residencies, commissions, readings and other public appearances, as well as being expected to produce work reflecting their extraordinary year.

More news to follow soon.

Watch our video below and click here for more information.

Aisling Fahey is the former Young Poet Laureate for London (2014 – 2015). Aisling was announced as the successor to Warsan Shire (2013 0 2014) by Lemn Sissay on October 2 2014.


Aisling meets the Queen

Aisling meets the Queen.

Being Young Poet Laureate for London has been an incredible experience. It has been challenging, humbling and rewarding. I’ve had really beautiful moments connecting with Londoners over the transformative power of poetry. It has been truly inspiring and I’m excited about the way it has informed and accelerated my work as a poet.”

Warsan Shire


Warsan Shire hands over the role of Young Poet Laureate for London to Aisling Fahey

Warsan Shire hands over the role of Young Poet Laureate for London to Aisling Fahey, 2014.

The Young Poet Laureate for London was first launched in 2013 as part of Spoke, a poetry and spoken word programme commissioned by the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Spoke has now drawn to a close and Young Poet Laureate for London is being supported by The Legacy List to become part of the fabric of London’s cultural offer.