Introducing the 2019 Apprentice Poets in Residence

The ILF Apprentice Poet in Residence position is a prestigious one for early career poets and is usually awarded to one poet each year. This year the calibre of this year’s applications was exceptional prompting ILF to take the unprecedented step of offering the Apprentice role as a joint position.

Erica Morris, Acting Director of Ilkley Literature Festival said, ‘We are delighted to be working with Genevieve and Shash, two brilliantly talented and very different poets, and to able to provide a platform for them to showcase their work at the 2019 festival at exciting and formative stages in both their careers. Our Apprentice poets will join our Poet-in-Residence, Colette Bryce, in demonstrating the sheer quality, variety and power of the poetry currently being produced by women based in the north of England.’

Shash Trevett is a Tamil from Sri Lanka who came to the UK to escape from the civil war. Shash writes by navigating between Tamil and English, creating poems which marry the linguistic traditions of the two languages. In 2016 she was involved in a project by the Refugee Council which celebrated the 65th anniversary of the signing of the Refugee Convention. She has been recorded by the British Library sound archive for their Between Two Worlds: Poetry & Translation Project. She is a winner of the 2016 Amnesty International ‘Silenced Shadows’ poetry competition and a recipient of a Northern Writer’s Award. Currently she is working on translating the Tamil poetry of Latha into English, finalising her first collection, and collaborating with visual artists and writers on the Cohere Project.

Shash said, ‘I am thrilled and honoured to have been chosen to be a joint Apprentice Poet-in-Residence at Ilkley Literature Festival. I am looking forward to completing my commission, meeting and learning from diverse people, and working with the festival organisers and Colette Bryce and Genevieve.  I am so excited: it is going to be a joy to completely immerse myself in poetry for 17 days.’

Genevieve Carver is a poet and performance artist who is rapidly forging a reputation as a ‘leading star of the northern spoken word scene’ (Now Then Magazine). Her work has appeared in publications including Iota, Envoi and The North, and her first collection will be published by Verve Poetry Press in 2020.  Together with her multi-instrumental live band (Tim Knowles, Ruth Nicholson and Brian Bestall), she performs as cross-art form project Genevieve Carver & The Unsung, whose first show won the spoken word award at Buxton Fringe Festival, was shortlisted for an Outspoken poetry award, and completed a critically acclaimed run at the Edinburgh fringe in 2018. Their new show, A Beautiful Way to be Crazy explores female experiences in the music industry and will be touring to Buxton and Edinburgh fringes this summer.

Genevieve said, ‘I cannot wait to begin this residency and feel very proud to be part of the vibrant community of writers in the North. The opportunity to work with Colette, Shash and the whole festival team is amazing, and I’m also looking forward to hosting a poetry and music workshop with young people.

Genevieve Carver and Shash Trevett will be taking part in a variety of events, readings and performances at Ilkley Literature Festival, 4-20 October 2019. The full 2019 programme will be revealed on 14 August with tickets going on general sale from 27 August. Festival Friends will have priority booking for tickets from 19 August.