A poet laureate is a poet appointed by a government or organisation, who may be asked to compose poems by that appointing body. There are lots of poet laureates all around the world, but in the rest of this page we’ll be referring to the UK’s Poet Laureate. The post of Poet Laureate is awarded […]
Simon Armitage was announced as Poet Laureate on 10 May 2019. See our Press Release page for announcements.
The Poet Laureateship has no formal job description. In the past, the Laureate was expected to pen poetry for royal events and national occasions and although this is no longer an official requirement, Poet Laureates often do write poems for such occasions. While Laureate, Tennyson wrote ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’. Carol Ann Duffy […]
The Poet Laureate traditionally receives an honorarium from HM The Queen. Carol Ann Duffy donated her annual honorarium to The Poetry Society to found a new award, The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, which was presented annually throughout her term as Laureate from 2009-2019. The Poet Laureate’s current annual honorarium is circa […]
Until the death of Ted Hughes in 1998, the position of Poet Laureate was a lifetime appointment. Andrew Motion (Poet Laureate 1999-2009) was the first Laureate to be appointed for a fixed ten-year term. Carol Ann Duffy also served a ten-year term (2009-2019). The next Laureate will serve from 2019-2029.
You can’t apply to be Poet Laureate. It is an honorary role awarded to a poet of national significance. The appointment is approved by HM The Queen acting on the advice of Her Majesty’s Government. A steering committee was appointed by the Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright to advise on the selection of the new Laureate […]
John Dryden was appointed Poet Laureate in 1668 by Charles II and there has been an unbroken line of Poet Laureates ever since. However, a number of poets were appointed as Laureate before that. These include Geoffrey Chaucer, John Skelton, and Ben Jonson. Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400) was given 10 shillings a year by King Henry […]
1668: John Dryden 1688: Thomas Shadwell 1692: Nahum Tate 1715: Nicholas Rowe 1718: Reverend Laurence Eusden 1730: Colley Cibber 1757: William Whitehead 1785: Reverend Thomas Warton 1790: Henry James Pye 1813: Robert Southey 1843: William Wordsworth 1850: Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1896: Alfred Austin 1913: Robert Bridges 1930: John Masefield 1967: Cecil Day-Lewis 1972: Sir John […]
Yes – there are lots of poet laureates across the UK who aren’t the royally appointed Laureate, including many themed or regional poet laureates and youth laureates in London, Birmingham, Warwickshire, the Wirral and more. And of course there are many poet laureates and similar roles in other countries across the world. Here are just […]