The Wimbledon Championships will have an official poet in residence for the first time in 2010, capturing the tournament’s every “triumph and disaster” in verse.
In 2009, contributions by poets Niall O’Sullivan, Nii Parkes and Roger Robinson proved hugely popular on official website http://www.wimbledon.org.
This year ‘Championships Poet’ Matt Harvey will depict every facet of Wimbledon from umpires and racket stringers, to ball boys and girls; the grass and its bounce to rain and the roof; strawberries and cream to the drama unfolding on court, with a poem a day from the All England Club.
A regular on UK radio, Harvey regularly entertains UK listeners with his perceptive, whimsical, funny poems. His Championships poems will be published online at the official website, http://www.wimbledon.org, the Poetry Trust website, http://www.thepoetrytrust.org and via audio podcast – the first of which, entitled “The Grandest of Grand Slams,” is available now.
Harvey will also post a blog on the Wimbledon Website, interact with fans via Twitter and entertain the Wimbledon queue with impromptu live performances. He said he was excited about the opportunity to explore Wimbledon in verse.
“Quite simply I’m delighted, with a little bit of healthy anxiety thrown in,” said Harvey. “It’s an honour, and I’m acutely conscious it’s the only time I’ll come first in anything at Wimbledon, unless you count the queue for strawberries.”
This is the first time the All England Club, Wimbledon, in collaboration with The Poetry Trust, has appointed an official poet in residence to capture the flavour of the world’s premier tennis tournament.
Poetry has long played an iconic role at The Championships, the immortal lines: “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same”, from Rudyard Kipling’s inspirational poem ‘If’, adorning the players’ entrance to Centre Court.