Mia is Shropshire's first young poet laureate

A 14-year-old girl has been appointed Shropshire's first young poet laureate.

Mia Cunningham
Mia Cunningham

Mia Cunningham, 14, from Much Wenlock, beat four hopefuls to the title after performing before judges as part of this year's Wenlock Poetry Festival.

The idea of a young poet laureate came from festival organisers and Shropshire Libraries, who wanted to get more youngsters involved in verse.

In her role as young poet laureate, Mia will have the responsibility of promoting the county's library services, as well as performing as part of the festival and working to encourage more people to get involved in poetry.

The William Brookes School pupil said: "This is an absolute dream.

"It's a great opportunity to get young people into something as major as poetry.

"Poetry inspires people to do things they might never do, to get something down on paper, passion through writing.

"I want to inspire self-esteem in teenagers and through poetry provide a boost for them to be inspired by themselves".

Antonia Beck, organiser of the Wernick Poetry festival, said: "Both the libraries and the festival are dedicated to providing opportunities for young people and we felt it would be a significant opportunity to set up this laureateship.

"It has taken quite a long time in the planning but it is something that we have finally been able to launch."

However, Ms Beck says that choosing Mia as the overall winner was not an easy task. She said: "It was a very very tough decision, the standard of poetry was admirable.


"With Mia, we felt she had the right combination of quality poetry and passion to take on the laureatship. We're very excited about the journey we will be taking on together."

Mia was awarded with her accolade at Wem Town Hall on September 25.

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