Hello there. This is my first blog entry as Laureate, and follows being launched last Thursday, on National Poetry Day, and I just wanted to say big thanks to everyone who came and welcomed me into this Laureateship-sailing-ahead, and I hope you enjoyed the launching, which I thought had a lovely and warm feel. Friends, writers, councillors, library staff, previous laureates (even m' Da showed up in his best jeans!) - so, many thanks for braving a dreek and stormy night in Alfreton to listen to some poems and say hello to each other.
How does it feel? Exciting, very much like the start of a journey, with a magical ticket to wander and explore, as well as some clear places to go to, and I have lots of ideas that I'd like to see happen over the next 2 years. I hope to do plenty of readings, in all sorts of places (invitations welcome!) and commissions, and have various other strange and wonderful ideas which I'm just beginning to develop, and shall keep this blog posted with. For now, I'm going to have to go - as I'm about to run a Dead Poets Slam, and have 16 dead (and dead-famous) poets turning up in a couple of hours to compete in a poetry Slam - and I've just worked out what the winner is going to get - which will be a copy of what I think is definitely one of the best contemporary poetry anthologies of recent years - "Staying Alive" from Bloodaxe. And such a good title for the winner of a Dead Poets Slam too! More soon, I'm sure.... Matt (Black)