THE SWAN Theatre has appointed a Worcester born poet as its new poet in residence.
With a creative writing MA in poetry, Ben Parker’s year-long residency at the theatre will see him work on a series of new projects as well as write ten new poems taking inspiration from the world of theatre.
The 33-year-old will also be working with the Swan Senior Youth Theatre in a new project sponsored by the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies which will see him working with the young people to create a performance poem, culminating in a public performance.
Ben will also host the first of an inaugural series of poetry open mic nights in the Swan Theatre bar, the first of which will take place in August as part of this year’s Worcester Festival.
Published in 2012, Ben’s debut pamphlet, The Escape Artists was shortlisted for the 2013 Michael Marks Award and in 2014 he started a one-year residency at the Museum of Royal Worcester.
He said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the Swan Theatre’s Poet in Residence. Chris and I have already had a number of fruitful discussions about the direction my residency might take, and there are a number of exciting projects planned.
“For the poems I will be producing over the next year, I plan to look at many different aspects of the Swan, including the building’s history, the technicalities of back stage, and the productions themselves”.
The newly appointed Poet in Residence has already drafted his first poem, written after a backstage tour of the Swan, and has made further plans to visit the costume store of the Worcester Repertory Company (the Swan Theatre’s resident professional theatre company), and to spend some time in the theatre’s workshop so that he can soak up the smells of paint and sawdust as he writes.
Chris Jaeger, Chief Executive of Worcester Live and Artistic Director of the Swan Theatre, said: “This is a very exciting development for us and we are really looking forward to working with the extremely talented Ben Parker.”