By Ben Thompson
First Draft, an art collective based in Manchester, has recently launched ‘Let The Artists In!’ in conjunction with support network The Writing Squad. The project, financially backed by Arts Council England, will offer three lucky poets the opportunity to be a poet in residence (a poet affiliated with a university or college).
Headed by the Manchester Writing School and the Manchester Poetry Library, this project will see three winners taking up a short residency at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Special Collections. Whilst there, they will have the chance to explore the materials featured within the extensive collection, and respond to materials within by either producing an artistic commission or hosting a creative writing workshop for the public.
The winners won’t be expected to know everything about being a poet in residence at the point of application. On offer through the programme is a day’s training under Malika Booker (Poet and Lecturer at Manchester Writing School), Louise Clennell (Education & Outreach Officer at Special Collections) and Dr. Martin Kratz (Manchester Poetry Library). This will teach them what they need to know about the duties of a poet in residence, which can involve anything from handling artefects to crafting creative responses to holdings in the collection.
To take part, students must submit an expression of interest, including a cover letter, CV and a sample of their work, by April 5th. Once the three winners are announced after a fortnight, training will take place on May 18th. From there, they’ll have a month to complete their chosen assignment.
Anybody interested in taking part should send their submission to firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information can be found via the MMU website.