The UK’s current Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy will be standing down soon at the end of her ten-year stint. A distinguished committee of experts will be making recommendations for a new Laureate to be appointed from May 2019. Some well known poets have made clear they don’t wish to be considered but I am available and willing and would aim to bring a lighter touch to the role.
I won’t be too disappointed if they go for someone else. My poems are more for fun than to be taken seriously; affectionate but slightly irreverent.
The book is a light hearted look at what it’s like to live as a close neighbour of the royals in an imagined Windsor where locals regularly rub shoulders with royalty. It would make an ideal stocking filler for locals with a sense of humour.
I’m hoping Windsor’s newest residents Harry and Meghan will want a copy as there are several poems about their wedding.
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I’m pleased to announce that Begging Your Pardon, my tongue in cheek bid to be considered the UK’s next Poet Laureate, is ready for release. The kindle version of ‘Begging Your Pardon – Please Can I Be Laureate?’ is available for pre order on Amazon.com or Amazon.uk now. The paperback version will be available Friday 30th November just in time for Christmas.
Begging Your Pardon – is a humorous collection of royal poems pushing the merits of a local poet who could pop round with a poem whenever the occasion demands it.
The current Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy is standing down at the end of her ten year stint and a distinguished committee will be making recommendations for a new Laureate to be appointed in May. Some better known poets have made clear they don’t wish to be considered and have even called for the post to be abolished but I am available and willing and would aim to bring a lighter touch to the role.
I won’t be too disappointed if they go for someone else. My poems are more fun than to be taken seriously; affectionate but slightly irreverent. There’s a fantasy view of a Windsor where locals regularly bump shoulders with the royals, a wry look at royal life, such as what happens when they forget to take down the flag and an increasingly desperate correspondence about the Laureate role.
I have been writing poetry for a number of years and won a local competition for my riposte to Sir John Betjeman, ‘Living Breathing Slough’. I mostly writes online and two of my collections have been featured on Wattpad where they have had more than 100,000 reads. My first published work Margaret’s Story was a biography of his mother in verse.
When I was sixteen or seventeen I represented my district at cross country running. I wasn’t a great runner, sixth or seventh at best in our school event but no-one else liked cross country so, if you were willing you got in the team. It was the same with football. I was obsessed with the game but never quite made the first eleven. I was less interested in rugby but they needed fifteen players so I squeaked in. The point is the Poet Laureate gig is taking on a similar slant. My best chance of making the cut is I’m not sure anyone else wants it.
Wendy Cope would be my choice for instance but she made clear last time she didn’t want to be considered and it’s unlikely she’ll change her mind. Given she labelled the Laureate role ‘an ‘archaic post with ridiculous expectations attached to it’ they probably wouldn’t have her. She did say the expectations didn’t come from the palace or from Whitehall but from public and the media but I imagine Her Majesty felt a little hurt anyway. Or perhaps she didn’t; I’m not sure whether she’s really a poetry fan or not.
Anyway, that was one would be Laureate who ruled herself out of the running. Benjamin Zephaniah has been even more adamant, making clear that he has ‘absolutely no interest in the job’. He’d previously turned down an OBE and describes himself as ‘profoundly anti empire’. If that wasn’t clear enough he’s said, ‘I have absolutely no interest in this job. I won’t work for them. They oppress me, they upset me, and they are not worthy.’ So, he has a great CV but you suspect the job interview, should he turn up, wouldn’t go quite as well.
Jackie Kay is already doing the Scottish job and says the ‘Makar’ role (a sillier title still?) means she’ll be too busy. There’s a few who are up for it I’ll maybe write about another time but it starts to sound a bit like the Oscar Wilde thing where you wouldn’t want a Laureate who fancied the job. So maybe, just maybe there’s an outside chance for the likes of me as a sort of compromise candidate more interested in entertainment than high art.
Anyway watch this space for an update on Begging Your Pardon – Please Can I Be Laureate?’ hot off the presses soon.
I’ve had a fantastic idea for promoting my new book, ‘Begging Your Pardon – Please Can I Be Laureate?’
If you live in the U.K. you’ll be familiar with the TV show, ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’. The basic premise is a bunch of celebrities get dropped in the Australian jungle for three weeks and are required to carry out disgusting tasks involving snakes, rodents and creepy crawlies. The public get to vote on who gets sent home and the last one still in the jungle is the winner.
It’s usually populated by ‘celebrities’ desperate to be better known or who’s star is fading. Anyway this year’s show is already underway but they usually drop an additional ‘big name’ in when it’s been up and running a few days. There’s lots of speculation about who that might be but, as far as I can tell the gig is still up for grabs.
I figured it would be perfect for pushing ‘Begging Your Pardon’ with huge exposure on prime time television so I let it be known I’d be interested. I’m not a household name just yet but it shouldn’t be a problem because we usually have to google who the celebrities are anyway. A Wikipedia page would help of course. I haven’t got one of those yet but I’m hoping someone might be inspired to do one for me.
Anyway I approached the production company but; and this is strictly hush hush, they’ve approached our Prime Minister Theresa May. She’s tempted apparently. She figures dealing with a den of vipers and various creepy crawlies might be a more attractive prospect than dealing with Cabinet and Her parliamentary colleagues.
So I might have to think of some other way to promote the book. I pity really because a poet appearing on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here would do more to promote the poetry scene in this country than any number of stuffy articles in the Guardian.
Meanwhile I’ve a great plan for bringI guess everyone together and healing recent divisions. I reckon, if I write about the bright future beckoning the country after Brexit, half the country will lap it up and the other half will think I’m being ironic. Something for everyone – can’t fail.
Just when I’d given up and all seemed lost I hear Carol Ann Duffy is nearing the end of her stint and the Poet Laureate job is up for grabs again.
Some of you will know I live near Her Majesty and have offered more than once to help out but so far my offer to knock out verse for all the big occasions has fallen on deaf ears. I do my bit from time to time but, up to now, without recognition. I’ve offered to drop round to the Castle for an interview but have still not heard anything.
Anyway it seems Carol Ann Duffy’s ten year stint is coming to an end and they need a new Laureate. They’ve started to take suggestions and a new appointment will be announced in May.
It’s a well known fact that the best known poets all turn it down but I’m willing and, current low spirits aside, churn verse out almost daily. So coming up with the odd one for Her Majesty would be no problem at all.
I’d already decided to give it one more shot when the exciting news emerged the Carol Ann will soon be winding down. Fortunately I have a new book in the pipeline re-emphasising my interest and setting out my credentials.