Laurie Bolger

How has being a London Laureate impacted your career? 

Since being shortlisted for the Young Poet Laureate for London I have been totally encouraged to bring poetry to people in my own unique way.

I have enjoyed residencies at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and my work has been frequently showcased across London. I have and still do receive massive support from Spread the Word in all areas of my career, whether it be radio presenting or writing for children, they always have invaluable suggestions and advice.

Tell us about what you’ve been involved with since last National Poetry Day 

Since last National Poetry Day I have worked non-stop, gigging in weird and wonderful locations from salmon factories, to school halls, to ballrooms to swimming pools!

I’ve engaged my poetry with all ages and groups from primary school children, to business folk, to old pub locals in a number of ways whether it be workshops or performances and I’ve loved it!

Women of the World Week was a big one for me. I held lots of workshops and talks alongside some brilliant ladies across the UK. World Book Day also brought some great residencies with The Poetry Takeaway writing bespoke poems for the public.

I’ve had some great writing commissions and have also regularly hosted a number of live events around London from youth slams to stand-up poetry nights, as well as showcasing some top guests on my spoken word radio show Round @ Laurie’s. I am now putting together my first radio documentary titled The P Word.

The poems I performed at the last National Poetry Day are now part of a first collection which I am currently developing. Finally I have begun to work on my up and coming children’s book, presenting this to a number of groups of young people around the UK as I go.

What would you advise anyone who’s thinking of applying for the Young Poet Laureate 2015/2016?

My mum is by far my best copy editor…make someone a cup of tea and get them to check over your application for you, to make sure it’s the ship shape and shiny before pressing send! Know that you are good enough, believe in what you do and be yourself.

What are your interests and what opportunities are you looking for?

As my own writing develops and travels in new directions, I’d love to continue connecting people with poetry and presenting my own work in even more interesting ways.

I am looking forward to engaging with various groups in workshop settings and showcasing new poets on live radio. I hope to keep hosting and performing my poetry at gigs and festivals around the globe.

I am looking forward to sharing my experience as a workshop facilitator, poet in residence, stand-up poet, radio presenter and children’s author in and outside of London over the next year.

Big thanks to Spread the Word and The Legacy List for their constant support…you’re lush.

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