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Roy McFarlane is new Poet Laureate for Birmingham
Laureate, Roy McFarlane
Roy McFarlane has been writing poetry around the West Midlands for 10 years

Birmingham's new Poet Laureate has been announced, and he is 47-year-old Roy McFarlane.

Roy, who was brought up in Wolverhampton before moving to Birmingham, has been writing poetry for over 10 years.

He applied to become the city's poet laureate in August 2010 and made the final shortlist of five candidates.

And the mental health worker won the award after reading one of his poems at his final interview.

"You send in four poems and give a statement about what you intend to do for the year," he told BBC WM's Ed Doolan.

Roy, who is part of the National Academy of Writing based at Birmingham City University, is Birmingham's 15th Poet Laureate and now has the responsibility to promote poetry across the West Midlands and beyond.

And that is something he is looking forward to as he carries the title for the next 12 months.

"There's so much you can do when you find yourself in that position to promote and encourage poetry," he said.

"Doors are open and you get invited into schools, prisons and communities and can do workshops, a presentation or teaching around poetry.

"I get the impression I'll get commissioned to write a special piece on an event or special visit," Roy added.

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