The first person to be appointed poet in residence at Rydal Mount will take up his place next month. Kieron Winn will spend a week in June at the home of William Wordsworth, writing and meeting visitors to the house.
Kieron’s first collection of poems, The Mortal Man, was published in 2015. He is a great admirer of the work of Wordsworth, and has twice won the University of Oxford’s most valuable literary award, the English Poem on a Sacred Subject Prize.
Kieron studied English at Christ Church, Oxford, where he was awarded a doctorate for a thesis on Herbert Read and T. S. Eliot.
He lives on Osney Island in Oxford, and (as of April this year) in Penrith. He is a freelance teacher of creative writing and English literature, including to visiting students from the Stanford University programme in Oxford and from Lady Margaret Hall, where he has been poet in residence. He sometimes visits schools to talk to pupils about form and structure in poetry.
His poems have appeared in British and American magazines, including The London Magazine, New Statesman, Oxford Magazine, The Spectator and The Times Literary Supplement. Selections of his poems also appear in anthologies and he has read his poems on BBC TV and radio.
Christopher Ricks, editor of The Oxford Book of English Verse, introduced Kieron at a reading by saying he is “A very good poet indeed…a poet to whom Wordsworth matters a very great deal…”
And the writer and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg said of The Mortal Man: “I have had much pleasure reading the poems. There is a real talent for binding centuries together and there are additions to the great Lake District tradition.”
Ranging from the Lake District to Rome, from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first, the poems in the collection revel in the particularity of people and places, and look for the sources of delight in human consciousness. The poems are relatively unusual now in their use of rhyme and traditional forms.
The appointment was due to happen last year to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wordsworth, but was postponed because of the pandemic.
Kieron said that he was delighted by the opportunity: “It would be hard to imagine my life without Wordsworth and the Lake District.”
Curator of Rydal Mount, Emily Heath, said Kieron was to be the first in a series of visiting poets. “We are very excited about this and looking forward to reading what Kieron produces in the wonderful atmosphere of Rydal Mount.”
Find out more at https://www.kieronwinn.com/