"Poet Thommie Gillow has won a contest to be named Bard of Bath - by a nose.

The 27 year-old was picked to fill the postion after impressing judges with her 10-minute work on the theme of lying.

Each contender had to come up with work reflecting the theme The Biggest Lie, a topic seleted by the outgoing post-holder, Ash Mandrake.

Thommie, from The Brow, Combe Down, becomes the 12th Bard of Bath. The role aims to encourage storytelling and poetry, and draws on the spiritual history of the city.

Thommie used the story of Pinocchio, the wooden puppet with the nose which grew every time he lied.

"The birth of my 10-week-old daughter, Hope, inspired me to think about her future and relationships, and I used the Pinocchio idea to base my entry piece on, as a cautionary tale around men with long noses" she said..."

Her aim for her year in office is to take poetry, dance and music to secondary schools in the Bath area.

She also wants to inspire free expression through the spoken word, and to use poetry as an extension of rapping in the hop that teenagers will enter rap-style poetry competitions.

She added : "Poetry should be funky and fun, involve whole communities, and be a way to express feelings, which for some people are sometimes difficult to set out on paper, but easy to perform."

She will be setting up a Facebook group for young people to discuss their ideas of poems and stories as a forum for drawing attention to their work and to publicise events.

She added: "I am very honoured and excited to be the Bard, but essentially I want to be the Next Big Thing."


Bath Chronicle 2008


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