THE Search for the Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2018 is on.

Nina Lewis, last year's winner says being Laureate has been 'an honour'.

"Being Poet Laureate has meant that I am in a position to be an ambassador for poetry, I have taken great pleasure in the writing commissions that have come my way."

Nina has had a busy year with many highlights from performing at Lakefest to publishing Contour, a quarterly poetry magazine, to organising a special event for the upcoming World Poetry Day.

" I feel that if you are lucky enough to be the Laureate you should invest time and energy into the role. I am delighted to have discovered poets not known on the Worcester scene (one of my personal objectives)."

Nina was also responsible for curating the Transatlantic Poetry Project - A Tale of Two Cities, a call and response project with poets in Worcester MA, USA and our City. "There are 47 poets involved and it has been a huge project."

Nina, who is based in Bromsgrove started writing as a teenager.

"I was outed as a poet at college, having already been published in several anthologies in my late teens. I studied Drama and hit the Spoken Word scene in Leicester, whilst at uni. Apart from developing a writing website, 'A Writers Fountain' I stopped writing to pursue a teaching career. In 2013 I returned to the world of writing and by 2014 my poetry pen was full of ink and ready to go. I haven't looked back since. My pamphlet 'Fragile Houses' was published by V. Press in 2016. "

Nina's poetry bookshelf has grown to a whole new shelving unit in the past few years. She enjoys reading many poets tries to support the local scene which she says is full of talent.

"I love Philip Larkin, Pablo Neruda, Emily Dickinson and Wendy Cope. Quite a mix of voices."

Those hoping to win this year can enter on the Worcestershire Litfest and Fringe website by 30 March to enter.

Charley Barnes, secretary of poetry organisation,'Litfest, says the committee is looking for someone with a passion for literature broadly, but poetry specifically.

"The Poet Laureate is a representative for the entire County so we need someone who is committed to bringing poetry to the masses, through workshops, public appearances and everything in between."

Nina's advice to aspiring poets is to enjoy it.

"Have an idea of what you would like to achieve in your year, get involved in the local poetry scene and be passionate about poetry. Also have strong arms, I may not want to let the Laureateship award go."