We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Canal Laureate

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

Luke Kennard Luke Kennard

This partnership led to celebrated Yorkshire poet Ian McMillan celebrating the launch of the Canal & River Trust with a new poem ‘Canal Life’. The ongoing project Locklines, managed by Chrysalis Arts, sees Ian’s words carved into new lock gates, along with those by Poets Roy Fisher and Jo Bell.

Canal Laureate

The Canal Laureateship 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 December 2015, Luke Kennard took over the role as Jo's hugely successful term came to an end.

"I'm thrilled to be appointed Canal Laureate and I'm already looking forward to the work which will come out of this collaboration." Luke Kennard

Luke Kennard will begin his Laureateship by foot, writing about his canal-side journeys as he goes, in a series of new poems. The poems, and other surreal observations from the narrow road will be published from January 2016 on the project blog www.waterlines.org.uk. You can also follow his adventures via Twitter @canalpoetry.

Read more about Luke's appointment as Canal Laureate.


Last date edited: 24 February 2017