Jacqueline Bardsley Poet-In-Residence

Following a very successful inaugural appointment, proposals are invited for the second appointment of this post.  Appointment is for the academic year 2023/24 in the first instance (starting 1 September 2023), renewable for a further two years.

Cambridge has three terms per year (roughly, October to early December; mid-January to mid-March; and late April- late June).

Applicants submitting proposals will be able to suggest a suitable pattern of residence, during term time, as part of the submission.  The College is be able to provide accommodation for a few days at a time, subject to availability.  A fluid sense of what a ‘Poet in Residence’ might mean for a diverse, energetic and innovative College is invited.

The Poet-in-Residence will:

  • be a ‘published’ poet (in the broadest sense: poets from across a wide diversity of traditions and young poets developing their craft are most welcome to apply)
  • create and perform poetry for, and with, Homerton College’s students, alumni, Fellows and staff
  • serve as a focal point and catalyst for developing a rich and diverse culture of poetry for the benefit of the College community

Funds of £5,000 p.a. are available to support the Poet-in-Residence.   Up to £4,000 may be used as an honorarium for the incumbent, with the balance available as a fund to support participation by the College community in activities created by the Poet.  The post is funded by a donation from Dr J. Norman Bardsley in memory of his late wife Jacqueline, an alumna of Homerton (1960-63). Mrs Bardsley (1941-2019) was a talented poet and an active member of poetry societies in California where she lived. She cherished the capacity of poetry to enable self-expression, and as a means of nurturing a community.


Homerton College

The College was founded in 1768 in Homerton, Hackney, in the East of London.  It moved to Cambridge in 1894 as a teacher-training college, initially for women only, and became a full College of the University of Cambridge (with students and Fellows across the range of academic disciplines) in 2010.  It is now the largest College in Cambridge by student number, and occupies a large, green and beautiful site in the South of Cambridge, close to the railway station and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.


The College has an abundance of connections to poetry.  Fellows and scholars of poetry at Homerton include Daljit Nagra, Louise Joy, Morag Styles (Emeritus Professor in Children’s Poetry) and David Whitley (The Poetry and Memory Project); we number two Poet Laureates among our Honorary Fellows (Sir Andrew Motion and Dame Carol Ann Duffy); in 2012 Homerton hosted an international Caribbean Poetry Conference (with readings from a stellar line-up of poets from all over the Caribbean, including Linton Kwesi Johnson, Olive Senior and Kei Miller); poets from all over the world (including Canada, South Africa and New Zealand) have read here and given writing workshops and the College has an active affiliation with the extraordinary national schools initiative, ‘Poetry By Heart’. We have also run our own poetry competition and welcome ways to energise and enable students’ poetic practice.


Poetry shakes up the world and leaves us feeling shaken. Jacqueline Bardsley believed that poetry is a practice for living your life, for thinking about life, for documenting and for making sense of life. We encourage applicants who are interested in connections and contemplations; interested in encouraging people to think and live in new ways; and who are interested in poetry as a form of expression as well as the possibility of change.



How to apply

Appointment will be made by a panel chaired by the Principal. 

You must include in your proposal

  1. A covering letter, including:
    1. A description of your approach to poetry, and how you intend to use the position of Poet-in-Residence to engage the College community.
    2. Evidence of excellence in the creation of poetry, and of teaching or conveying passion for poetry to others
    3. Your proposed pattern of work
  2. A Curriculum Vitae
  3. 10 A4 pages of original poetry (or online videos showing performance of your own work)
  4. The names and contact details of two referees, indicating whether we may contact them before interview


Complete proposals must be received by: midnight on 31 July 2023.

Proposals should be addressed to: Lord Simon Woolley, Principal of Homerton College and sent to the HR Department, Homerton College, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 8PH or HR@Homerton.cam.ac.uk

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr Georgie Horrell, College Lecturer in Literatures in English  (gah27@homerton.cam.ac.uk).


Latest from The Homersphere

View all