Russell Jones is the UK's first Pet Poet Laureate

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04 September 2018
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russell2-64105.jpeg Russell Jones 1
Russell won the Blue Cross competition to find a poet to celebrate pets and the impact they have on people's lives
Russell Jones is the UK's first Pet Poet Laureate Images

 

Russell won the Blue Cross competition to find a poet to celebrate pets and the impact they have on people's lives

The judging panel included The Poetry Society. Russell's winning poem, The Tempest (see below), is based on a Blue Cross rescue involving a homeless cat, Ella, and her kittens. Over the next 12 months Russell will work with the Blue Cross to create a series of poems relating to pets and the people whose lives they touch.

Russell Jones is an Edinburgh-based poet, writer and editor with five published poetry collections. 'Having been a pet owner for as long as I can remember I am absolutely delighted to be chosen to take on the role of Pet Poet Laureate,' he said.

Blue Cross findraising manager Julia McKechnie-Burke, said: 'We are very excited to present the nation’s first Pet Poet Laureate to champion the huge impact pets have on people’s lives. We wanted to tap into the wonderful world of poetry, which is undergoing an exciting renaissance and reaching increasingly diverse audience, to demonstrate our mission in a unique way that has never been done before.'

A Tempest

- for Ella (“Beautiful Fairy”)

 

Cast away, nursing futures,

mottled shells spilled

on bare shores.

 

Ella, hold them close,

listen to those tiny oceans

roar, sail fast with hope beyond

 

hope. Who knows what storms

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you navigate or divine.

Be not afraid,

 

this isle is full

of distant mews, incantations

and leviathans. A blue cross

 

cuts the squall. You will wake

to your babes lapping, think

of new worlds.

 

Ella and her kittens are being cared for in a Blue Cross rehoming centre in Southampton. Concerned neighbours who had been feeding Ella and her kittens after they were abandoned in an empty flat contacted the Blue Cross when Ella disappeared, and the kittens were taken into rescue for emergency care. When Ella returned, the neighbour took her to the Blue Cross where she was reunited with her kittens, who had been named after superheroes: Peter, Logan, Clark, Bruce and Tony.

 

 

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