Poet wins Charles Causley residency at Launceston
POET Kathryn Simmonds has been awarded the first Charles Causley Residency at Launceston.
The Charles Causley Trust announced this week that Kathryn and her family will be based in the former home in Launceston of the poet Charles Causley for six months from October this year.
Kathryn was born in Hertfordshire and worked in children's publishing before taking a creative writing MA at the University of East Anglia in 2002.
She received an Eric Gregory Award in the same year and her pamphlet, Snug, a winner in the Smith/Doorstop pamphlet competition, was published in 2004. Her collection, Sunday At The Skin Launderette, won the Forward Prize for best first collection in 2008 and was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award.
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Her short stories have been broadcast on Radio 4.
The residency will give Kathryn the chance to further develop her own practice, while engaging participants through events and activities that will encourage and inspire creative writing and poetry appreciation.
Literature Works – the literature development agency for the South West – is working closely with the trust to support the residency project, which has attracted funding from Arts Council England and Cornwall Council. The trust has also launched a Charles Causley poetry competition, to be judged by patron, Sir Andrew Motion. With a first prize of £3,000 it is expected to attract entries from across the globe.
This is an exciting time for the trust, which has also been successful in raising a £162,000 funding package to support urgent repairs and refurbishment to Charles Causley's House in Launceston.
Kathryn said: "It's a delight and an honour to be the first Charles Causley Poet-in-Residence and I look forward to living and writing in beautiful Cornwall."
Councillor Julian German, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for economy and culture, said: "Charles Causley captured a great deal of Cornwall's idiosyncrasies and unique identity and I hope that Kathryn and the following poets-in-residence will use their gift to portray our fantastic environment, characters and culture."
Cornwall Council member for Launceston Central, Alex Folkes, said he was excited by the possibilities for cultural engagement that the project was bringing to the town.
Trustee of The Charles Causley Trust with the residency portfolio, Ronald Tamplin, said: "The trust is overjoyed to see a long-cherished project ambition become reality, and looks forward to working with Kathryn and welcoming her to Cornwall as the trust's first poet-in-residence."
CEO of Literature Works, Tracey Guiry, said: "Kathryn is a superb writer and a real talent. We're delighted to be assisting The Charles Causley Trust in offering her the opportunity to develop her practice in this way."
Phil Gibby, area director, South West, Arts Council England, said: " We are looking forward to seeing the writer-in-residence programme further stimulate literature development in east Cornwall and the South West."