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Wanted – Poet Of Residence

Wanted – Poet of Residence

As far as NCERCC knows there has never been a Poet in Residence in England, or as we are renaming the role, a Poet Of Residence.

We think, with others, we need to find the funds to establish the role.

We will ask 3 things of the Poet Of Residence

  • To create – using your own ability, creativity, and with others
  • To communicate – Residential Child Care is about communication.
  • To care for, about and with Residential Child Care (thank you Joan Tronto!)

There is poetry in Residential Child Care.  There is directness in residential living.

Poetry can be a way Residential Child Care can be seen, heard and understood in ways that research and reports cannot convey.

Poetry gets written because of something important that is felt or needs to be said.

Poetry communicates things that can’t be said any other way.

Poetry is a love of language, all languages, a celebration of the sounds, textures and rhythms of words as well as their meaning.

In your residency we will want them all!

Poetry is communicating about big questions; People and Places, Love and Loss, Why are we here?, Where are we going?, the things we think it important to share with others.

In your residency we will want the richness and expanse of all of residential life brought outwards by you and the people with whom you will work.

Our ambition

The ways of thinking a child in care and Residential Child Care lacks information, insight, but above all imagination. The words used are often about budget cuts rather recovery from poverty, deprivation and trauma, or restoration and reparation.

Poets do not have to settle for the prosaic rather they can hold to realising the ambition of the care system as prosody.

Imagination is inimical to those currently with power to change children’s lives. We cannot wait to meekly receive the new paltry reality, whatever it might be, we do not want to collaborate in our own personal, social and professional care collapse.

We need to go out, to regenerate care, and especially Residential Child Care.

We need our poets’ imaginations of what it can be to be active in the creation.

Pioneers are examples.

As you will be the first we don’t have an example, but we have found one that might help you imagine all the things it could be.

A year in the life of a Poet in Residence | BookTrust

The role as we imagine.

Someone who will draw inspiration from the richness that is every day in Residential Child Care, a person who will not hide from the truth no matter how beautiful it is.

A person who recognises the vibrancy of the interrelationships, interdependence, interaction that happen every day all day.

A person who can pioneer communicating in ways Residential Child Care has not previously.

Person specification

The sector is looking for a talented, ambitious poet to celebrate the vital role and work Residential Child Care plays in the lives of children and communicates the connectedness with children’s services.

We will particularly welcome people with lived experience of Residential Child Care.


If successful, during your year of residence we commit together to:

  • write poems inspired a person, a home, or an experience shared with you.
  • be public ambassadors for Residential Child Care
  • create and attend events – performing, workshops, mentoring, readings, explaining in media appearances.
  • publish – written, photographic and video content.

It’s an ambition – how can we together make it happen?

Or maybe we need several – and then, Artists Of Residence, Film makers, Music makers. The question is open …