Southampton finds its first children’s poet laureate Inspiring the city’s children with poetry is a step closer with the appointment of Southampton’s first children’s poet laureate. The Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Derek Burke, backed by Daily Echo editor Ian Murray, has named Matt West as Southampton’s first children’s poet laureate after considering the work of many other very good candidates. Cllr Burke’s idea of a children’s poet laureate to engage young people with poetry was picked up by the Daily Echo, and together they have provided a £1000 honorarium for the winner – chosen after a competition in the paper. The new laureate has been named as Matt West. Councillor Derek Burke, Mayor of Southampton said: “I would like to congratulate Matt West on becoming Southampton’s first poet laureate and to thank Ian Murray for the amazing support the Daily Echo provided. Ian and I read some really good poetry and the standard was very high – so it was difficult to pick a winner but Matt’s poem ‘Spoken Word’ captured the essence of what we were looking for. Thanks to everyone who entered this important competition - not only was the standard of submission high but they also provided us with a really good read.” Ian Murray, Editor Daily Echo said: “I’m delighted the paper has been able to be involved in this marvellous project. When the Mayor approached me with the idea I realised at once this would be a fantastic way to engage children in the city...'