Poet Kathryn 'delighted' to get Causley residency
A writer whose debut collection of verse received universal praise has been named as the first author in residence at the former home of celebrated Cornish poet Charles Causley.
Kathryn Simmonds, whose collections include Snug and Sunday At The Skin Launderette, said she was "delighted and honoured" to be selected as the first poet in residence. Ms Simmonds, who lives in Hertfordshire, will be based at Cyprus Well in Launceston for six months.
Winner of numerous accolades, including the Eric Gregory Award and the Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection, she has also been shortlisted for the Guardian First Book and Costa Book awards.
Cyprus Well, which is a small property on the edge of Launceston, was renovated and made into a writer's retreat by the Charles Causley Trust in the years following the poet's death in 2003.
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Trust member Ronald Tamplin said: "We are overjoyed to see a long-cherished project ambition become reality and we look forward to working with Kathryn and welcoming her to Cornwall as the trust's first poet in residence."
Causley, whose work is known all over the world, published several collections of poetry, including Farewell Aggie Weston, Johnny Alleluia and Figgie Hobbin. Recipient of the CBE and Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, he was made a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature, a position held by only 10 writers at any time.
A school teacher for many years, Causley spent most of his life in Launceston, writing about the places he knew. The Charles Causley Trust, which was set up just before the poet's death, bought Cyprus Well in 2007.
South West writing development agency Literature Works is working with the trust to support the writer in residence project, which has attracted funding from Arts Council England and Cornwall Council.
The trust has also launched a new Charles Causley Poetry Competition, which will be judged by its patron, former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion. It hopes to attract entries from around the world.