Chris Singleton

2023 Joint Apprentice Poet in Residence

Our Poet in Residence position has gained a reputation for launching the careers of emerging poets in the north of England. This year, the standard of applicants was so high that we took the decision to appoint not one, but two!

Meet Chris Singleton…

Chris Singleton is a queer and neurodiverse poet, playwright and Artistic Director of Brave Words. He recently finished touring his debut spoken word comedy show about grief, loss and self-acceptance. In 2021 his debut poetry pamphlet was published by Indigo Dreams and he was shortlisted for Best Spoken Word Performer and Best Spoken Word Show at the Saboteur Awards 2022, the Birds of Paradise Exceptional Theatre Award, and the Lancaster Playwriting Prize.

“I’m really excited to be one of the Apprentice Poet in Residences for ILF this year – excited and full of ideas. To be on board in the 50th anniversary year feels really special and an absolute honour. I was at the festival last year with How to Be a Better Human and it was absolutely one of the warmest, accepting, generous welcomes I ever felt at a venue. I’m absolutely looking forward to being more involved this year.”

Sponsored by The Walter Swan Trust

For the first time, the Apprentice Poets in Residence position will be sponsored by the Walter Swan Trust. Niccola Swan, chair of the trust, said:

“The Walter Swan Trust has been really proud to sponsor the poetry prize for a number of years, commemorating Walter’s great support for the Literature Festival when he worked at Ilkley Playhouse. For our final year, we are really pleased to be supporting the post of Apprentice Poet in Residence. This would have been something which Walter would have been really pleased to be involved with. We wish the post-holders a great season with the Literature Festival.”

Meet Chris’ joint apprentice poet in residence, Freya Bantiff…