Congratulations, Ruby Murphy! Pour quoi, I hear you ask. Well, Ruby is Warwickshire’s new Young Poet Laureate, crowned last Saturday at Rugby Library. Competition was stiff, all candidates putting up a poetic fight – immensely talented, all of them.
With seven minutes to spare and having successfully navigated the Asda car park and the angry man with a small dog and two large children in the back of his Range Rover who wanted to get in front of me at all costs, fed the ticket machine with a collection of still-shiny and under-used five pence pieces, I then hoofed up the exit steps dodging the ripped open and discarded multi-pack of Maltesers – some of which had died on the steps beneath heavy and determined feet – past the young rapper rapping extremely loudly about God and his virtues with a full on loudspeaker that you could probably hear in space, I then legged it three steps at a time into the library entrance where I was eventually guided, slightly breathless and a little dizzy, by two library assistants to the last remaining seat, to hear the opening speech for this year’s Warwickshire Young Poet Laureate crown.
The event was hosted by Former Worcestershire Poet Laureate Fergus McGonigal and punctuated by a small child emitting intermittent screams and bawls at just the right moment as to cause smiles all round. A writer in the making, I mused, trying to get through the pain of the creative process. We’ve all be there, right?
To my left was a lady who sat through the whole proceedings talking quietly to herself, and often disagreeing with herself, and to my right, as it turned out, a poet, writer, musician and generally talented guy, Mike Took. Mike runs open mic nights for poets in Banbury, Leamington and elsewhere, and hosts a Saturday morning radio show. The place was awash with creativity of one sort or another.
So why was I at this event I hear you asking. Of course of you are. Well, one of this year’s decisions was to accept as many – as is feasibly possible – offers to go out and about, to meet and greet and catch the vibe. And so that’s what I did.
Once again, congrats to the organisers, the competitors, the library staff. Excellent.