Ian McMillan crowns new Barnsley Poet Laureate Eloise Unerman
Celebrated wordsmith Ian McMillan is handing over his Barnsley Poet Laureate crown to 19-year-old talent Eloise Unerman.
Award winning Eloise, from Goldthorpe, who is already making a name for herself in the literary world, has been acting as apprentice to the writer and broadcaster in the lead up to his departure.
Ian, affectionately known as the Bard of Barnsley, will officially welcome her as the town's Poet Laureate at a free entry public event at Experience Barnsley, on Monday, March 25, 6.15pm to 7pm, with refreshments from 5.30pm.
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As Poet Laureate she will be producing poetry to promote the town's past, present and future.
During his three years in the role, Ian wrote 18 poems on topics as diverse as Egyptology and brass bands.
The Barnsley Poet Laureate role was created as a platform to promote Hear My Voice, a programme of creative opportunities, activities and poetry-themed events, designed to engage, stimulate and inspire the Barnsley community to tell their own stories.
Eloise as Barnsley Young Poet in Residence with Hear My Voice
Acting as apprentice to writer and broadcaster Ian, she has been preparing to follow in his footsteps as Poet Laureate by writing poems about Barnsley Museums’ sites and collections at Experience Barnsley, The Cooper Gallery, Elsecar Heritage Centre, Cannon Hall Museum and Worsbrough Mill.
She said: "I am so honoured to be offered the role of Barnsley's Poet Laureate so early in my career and be given the chance to get involved in some of the exciting things coming up. I'm looking forward to following in Ian MacMillan's footsteps and hope to be able to give something back to the wonderful town I grew up in."
Eloise, who starts her duties on April 1, was appointed in recognition of her ongoing literary achievements. She won the Cuckoo Northern Writers Awards in 2017 and was young poet in residence last year at the Ledbury Poetry Festival, in Herefordshire.
As the winner of the Ledbury festival young person’s category in 2017, she was asked to speak at the 2018 event and write a poem especially for it.
LISTEN: Hear Eloise reading some of her work and talking about her inspirations as a writer at the Ledbury Poetry Festival 2018 - CLICK HERE.
Coun Roy Miller, Barnsley Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: “We are excited that such a talented and exciting new writer has taken over the position of Barnsley’s Poet Laureate.
"Her work will connect with people of all ages and shine a spotlight on the fantastic things happening in the borough. We hope this role will support Eloise and catapult her to great things in her career.
"We would also like to thank Ian MacMillan for his dedication and support over the past three years, which has been a real triumph for Barnsley.”
For more about Hear My Voice visit www.barnsley-museums.com/hear-my-voice.