Canal Laureate

Britain’s canals and rivers are gaining a new voice through our historic partnership with the Poetry Society.

Nancy Campbell kayaking on the Oxford Canal

Oxford-based poet and kayaker Nancy Campbell has a keen interest in arctic, marine and water conservation, following on from her winter residency at the most northern museum in the world in Greenland in 2010, and subsequent museum residencies in both Greenland and Iceland over the last seven years.

As Canal Laureate she will seek out and share stories from the people and places she will encounter during her travels along the 2,000 miles of the nation’s historic canals and waterways looked after by us. 

"I’m thrilled to be appointed as the new Canal Laureate and am grateful for the inspiring wake of poems the previous Canal Laureates leave behind"

Nancy Campbell

Nancy's new poems and observations will be published on You can also follow Nancy’s adventures via Twitter @CanalPoetry

Winter Roses, Nancy Campbell

Recipe for a towpath garden, Nancy Campbell

Canal Laureateship

This was established by The Poetry Society and the Canal & River Trust in 2013, to encourage exciting new writing about the canal network. The project is part of the Arts on the Waterways programme, a wider partnership between the Canal & River Trust, Arts Council England and Arts Council of Wales.

Our first ever Canal Laureate was boating poet Jo Bell. Jo was appointed to the role, with a brief to bring a new perspective to the nation's historic canals and rivers and encourage more people to see their local waterways in a new light.

In January 2018, Nancy Campbell took over the role after our most recent canal laureate, Luke Kennard's successful term came to an end. 

Last date edited: 2 April 2020