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London’s Poet for Places programme is the first of its kind to offer a young non-professional writer the chance to engage with London’s heritage and stories. Poet for Places takes inspiration from the city’s heritage to bring historic buildings and monuments to life through poetry and spoken word. The poet also mentors other young people through workshops in schools and alternative provision organisations over the course of a year. 


Kira Nelson is London’s second Poet for Places. Given behind-closed-doors access to secret places and curiosities across every borough, Kira explores their history through her poetry - from street sculptures and statues, former grand houses, an 18th century grotto, the ancient plot of a Benedictine priory - interpreting sites and their stories in new ways.


Poet for Places 2024 Kira Nelson



Kira Nelson is an emerging voice in the London poetry scene. A young queer poet and screenwriter from Orpington, she has been performing at open mic events since 2021.  Kira is studying for a BA in Creative Writing at Brunel University London.


“Be honest, be emotional and don’t write blankly, there has always got to be something behind what’s on the page.”


Leaning Woman Statue

Inspired by the Leaning Woman Statue

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Inspired by 

Columbia Market Gates


Inspired by 

Cranford Park

Cranford Park Stables Hillingdon

Inspired by 

Cranford Stables

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Inspired by 

Henrion Street Sculpture

Wanstead Grotto front

Inspired by 

Wanstead Grotto

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Inspired by 

How Memorial Gateway


Inspired by 

The Lord Byron Statue

We asked Kira how she felt about becoming Poet for Places 2024...

"Poetry is my go-to medium of self-expression and an invaluable outlet. It gives you the power to touch topics that you are passionate about in a personal, meaningful way; to look not only outward at how you perceive the world around you but also within yourself." 


Are you excited?

"This is going to be huge for me. London is my birthplace but there is so much I have yet to discover. I am in love with modern history and the city is perhaps more steeped in it than any other in the Western World. We are an almost unparalleled centre of culture, innovation and beautiful uniqueness. I am proud to be a Londoner and I can't wait to get started!"


“Kira is a daring poet who constantly surprises by her phrase-making and shifts of thought. This is exhilarating poetry that is deeply personal yet artful and achieved.”  

– Professor Daljit Nagra MBE FRSL 

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Poet and broadcaster Prof Daljit Nagra launching Poet for Places

Poet for Places is a year long programme open to 18-25 year old London residents. It is run in collaboration with Brunel University with the support of the Caledonia Investments Charitable Foundation. The Poet for Places receives a £10,000 grant and mentoring throughout the year by Prof Daljit Nagra, Dr Emma Filtness and other poets and writers. They also mentor young people and lead creative writing workshops as part of Heritage of London Trust’s Proud Places youth engagement programme. Poet for Places offers a rare opportunity for an upcoming writer to increase their body of work, develop their career, build their profile and inspire young people. 

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Arnaud Mbaki

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