So the first ever young poet laureate for London was Warsan Shire, and then came Aisling Fahey and now, Selina Nwulu. Make no mistake about it, Selina is one gifted, passionate, subtle and unstoppable poet – what’s more, she’s a black woman.
Recently named the Young Poet Laureate for London 2015 – 2016, Selina has since said that, “I often think that the term ‘young people’ is too general and doesn’t take into consideration the sheer diversity of your lives, opinions and aspirations. I think poetry, and more generally creative expression, is a way in which you can show the variety of your voices and write your own story instead of it being written for you”.
London’s Writer Development Agency, Spread the Word announced her as the one to take on the role from Aisling Fahey, whose tenure came to a close this October.
Supported by the Foundation for FutureLondon, the Young Poet Laureate for London role will offer Selina the opportunity to work across London’s diverse communities, bringing untold tales to the forefront.
Chosen from a shortlist of six young poets – Belinda Zhawi, Harriet Creelman, Raymond Antrobus, Selina Nwulu, Yuan Yang and Zia Ahmed – will spend the next year creating work that reflects the ever-changing city.
Since the annual role’s creation in 2013, Shire (My Mother How To Give Birth) being the first resident, the title has been occupied by women – two of whom are of colour.
This has sparked debate across social media with some users citing their gripes over why there has not been a young male in the position. “I get that it’s down to judges to decide but London has a rising culture of violence committed by young males. Why not put males in there too, to show other young men what they too can achieve?”, one user tweeted in the debate.
In response, local Manchester writer Yasmin B, said “Come on, there are already so many men in so many different domains anyway”.
Do you think the Foundation for FutureLondon should make a conscious effort to give the role to a male candidate in the future or not? Share your thoughts below or tweet us at @TheNubianTimes
TNT News Yasin Chinembiri