Former Canterbury Laureate releases original poem for Kent graduates

Sam Wood
The poem is for the students and by the students.

The University of Kent concluded its Celebration Week for July graduates with a crowd-sourced poem constructed by Kent alumnus, former Canterbury Laureate, and Glastonbury Festival poet-in-residence Dan Simpson, on Friday 24 July 2020.

The renowned poet created the special poem for the 2020 graduation ceremonies, by requesting final year students to send him a few lines based on prompts, from which he would write the poem to celebrate the unique Class of 2020.

The complete poem was then released at the end of the Celebration Week via the University’s YouTube channel and website, as well as broadcast on social media.

The suggestion-prompts for students were:

  • Tell us about a memorable moment during your studies.
  • What is the main thing you will miss about the University?
  • What challenges did you overcome, and who supported you during these challenging months?
  • How does it feel to be graduating at this time?
  • What are your hopes for the future?
  • Give us three words to describe your time at Kent.

Speaking of the project, Dan Simpson said: ‘Reading contributions from the class of 2020 gives me so much hope for their futures. Despite the strange graduation and times they face, they are approaching it with forward-thinking positivity – testament to the education and life they’ve enjoyed at the University of Kent. Turning their words into a poem for the community was a joy, and as an alumnus myself I wish them all the very best in their post-graduation lives!’