Poet serves up Wimbledon chapter and verse

Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey

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.

Click here to listen to the podcast

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.


  1. Trip-RF
    Posted 19 May, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Wowww… Great idea to give it another touch of tradition!!
    I hope there is a great poem on Roger when he kisses the trophy 🙂 …Which hopefully will happen 🙂

  2. Naomi
    Posted 19 May, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Looking forward to Matt Harvey’s tennis poem aces!

  3. Steffen Schmidt
    Posted 20 May, 2010 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    The poet gets some new grey hair
    cause nothing rhymes with “Federer”
    and also “Roger” is a mess
    I’m not so clever, I confess
    to just turn “Roger” into “Rogi”
    sounds childish, stupid, dumb and dodgy
    so maybe it’s the easiest thing
    to write a poem about the “King”

  4. Posted 20 May, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    I have just posted a fairly raw tribute to Wimbledon. I have this poetry blog for 4 years almost.

  5. Posted 14 August, 2010 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Poetry and tennis. What a romantic combination!

Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: