Derbyshire Poet Laureates past and present
There is more information about our Poet Laureate scheme and details of our past Poet Laureates go to www.derbyshire.gov.uk/poetlaureate
Helen is Derbyshire’s current Poet Laureate and the fifth to be appointed the position. Helen is a multi-award winning poet who recently published her first full collection, “Division Street” which was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize and the Costa Prize.
Cathy Grindrod was appointed the first Derbyshire poet laureate on National Poetry Day 2005.
Cathy lives in Derbyshire and has been writing and performing poetry for a number of years, as well as teaching and co-ordinating a wide range of poetry projects and events.
Her collection The Sky, Head On, was published by Shoestring Press in November 2009 and her previous collection, Fighting Talk, was published by Headland Press in September 2005. A pamphlet collection, Still Breathing, was published by Five Leaves Press in March 2006.
Laureate Lines: poems from the first Derbyshire Poet Laureate Cathy Grindrod, is a book featuring a number of the poems Cathy wrote during her time as Laureate. Copies are £7.99 and available from Derbyshire Libraries or from Alison Betteridge.
River Wolton succeeded Cathy Grindod as Derbyshire's second Poet Laureate in 2007.
River grew up in London and lived in Sheffield for twenty years before moving to Derbyshire. She works as a writer in schools, libraries and community projects. Her publications include Indoor Skydiving (Smith/Doorstep 2013), Leap (Smith/Doorstep 2010), The Purpose of Your Visit (Smith/Doorstop 2008), and she co-authored the short story collection Some Girls' Mothers (Route 2008).
You Are Here: Travels of a Derbyshire Poet Laureate by River Wolton brings together poems and prose written by River during her laureateship, and a selection of poems written by participants in workshops. Copies are £7.99 and available from Derbyshire Libraries or from Alison Betteridge.
Ann Atkinson was Derbyshire Poet Laureate from 2009 to October 2011. Ann was Derbyshire Poet Laureate from 2009 to 2011 and during that time met and worked with over 1,500 people from all parts of the county. She reached an even wider audience through her collection 'From Matlock to Mamelodi: 5000 miles of poetry with the Derbyshire Poet Laureate Ann Atkinson'.
Originally from Teeside, Ann lived in the Peak District for over thirty years and many of her poems reflect her love of the countryside and its communities. Ann died in April 2012.
'From Matlock to Mamelodi: 5000 miles of poetry with the Derbyshire Poet Laureate Ann Atkinson' which features all of the poems written by Ann during her time as laureate. Copies are available to borrow in Derbyshire Libraries or if you would like to buy a copy, please contact Ali Betteridge
Matt Black succeeded Ann Atkinson as Derbyshire's fourth Poet Laureate in 2011. Matt grew up in Oxford, has lived in Sheffield for over twenty-five years, and has a caravan in Derbyshire.
His previous books are Plot 161 (Sprout, 2001), Goblin in the Fridge (Upside Down Books, 2007) (Poetry Book Society Children's Bookshelf Choice), and Swimmer (Upside Down Books, 2009).
'Footsteps and Fuddles: No Map but the Sky' brings together poems written by Matt during his laureateship, and a selection of poems written by participants in workshops. Copies are £7.99 and are available to buy from Ali Betteridge.