Search starts for Bristol’s next City Poet

Poets, performers and fans of the spoken word in Bristol are being invited to apply to become the next City Poet.

The winner will be required to write 10 poems for specific events or projects and will also take part in public performances and community engagement activities during Mayor Marvin Rees’ second two-year term in office (May 2018 – May 2020).

Current City Poet Miles Chambers, pictured, has performed at the 2016 and 2017 Mayor’s Annual State of the City Address, the council’s Annual General Meeting and at a city twinning celebration as well as appearing in a video for Bristol Energy. 

Mayor Rees said: “It’s fantastic that we can continue the post of City Poet, which has been filled by Miles Chambers over the past year.

“Miles’ gift with words has enriched several important events in the city and I’m thankful to him for sharing his distinctive voice with us. I’m looking forward to being involved in the process of appointing a new City Poet and would encourage all poets who love this city to apply. Being the next City Poet is a huge opportunity and I can’t wait to read your submissions.”

Bristol Cultural Development Partnership and Bristol Festival of Ideas director Andrew Kelly added: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Bristol City Poet for another two years. Poets help us celebrate and challenge what we do and also what the city does.

“Poetry has always been strong in Bristol – we’re the birthplace of the romantic poetry movement after all – and remains a critical part of the cultural life of the city. Miles has done a great job as the first city poet. He’s created a strong presence in the city and has written and performed many poems that have helped illuminate city life and work. It’s an excellent foundation for the next city poet to build on.”

Watch Miles Chambers perform here

Applicants should be experienced poets living in Bristol who have published work in print and/or online. In addition to filling in the application form they should submit two poems (these can be new works or ones already published) of up to 65 lines, one of which should have Bristol as its subject matter, and a personal statement of around 300 words setting out what they feel they would bring to the role.

The deadline for applications is Friday 1 December. The decision will be made in January 2018 with a handover from Miles Chambers to the new City Poet in May.

The role of the City Poet is managed by Bristol Cultural Development Partnership as part of the Bristol Festival of Ideas in association with the Mayor’s Office. The City Poet is given an annual fee of £5,000 for the core poems. There are opportunities to do more and these will be discussed with the appointed poet. In addition, the poet can use the City Poet title to do work for other organisations.

The judging panel for the City Poet role will include Mayor Marvin Rees and members of his office, representatives from Festival of Ideas as well as City Poet Miles Chambers.

For more information visit

Photo of Miles Chambers courtesy of Jon Craig @joncraig_photos


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