A THEATRE in Worcester has made the county's poet laureate its Writer in Residence, to expand its programme of events.

Dr Charley Barnes, Worcestershire Poet Laureate, has become Writer in Residence at The Swan Theatre, with the aim of hosting one new event there each month.

Dr Barnes, a published poet and novelist, who lectures at the University of Worcester, said the aim is to offer more variety at The Swan, in The Moors, Barbourne.

The Writer in Residence role will introduce several new elements to The Swan Theatre's annual programme, including events such as theatre discussions, workshops and open mic nights," said Dr Barnes.

"As Writer in Residence, I'm committed to hosting one event a month starting with a launch event in January 2020 that will (shamefully) introduce some of my own writing experiences and successes, followed by an introduction to the Writer in Residence events that are planned from January through to June, with more to follow.

"We're planning private group discussions of plays and performances held at The Swan and associated venues, alongside prose-led open mic events, which we hope will fill a current gap in Worcester's literary open mic scene.

"I will personally lead practical writing workshops too, covering everything from getting your novel together, edited and (maybe one day) into print."

Dr Barnes, the poet laureate for 2019/20, also hosts a monthly Dear Listener event at Boston Tea Party in Worcester, usually on the third Thursday evening of each month, where local and celebrated national poets share their work.

Dr Barnes said: "Dear Listener was launched in December 2017 in the hope of giving poets a space to share their grievances, experiences and anything in between, without having to censor themselves or their words.

"Since starting the event, award-winning poets from up and down the country - such as Casey Baily and Leanne Moden - have visited Dear Listener as headliners, as well as local talent such as Holly Daffurn and Polly Stretton.

"It's grown from a small audience of supportive friends to a packed out room of strangers looking for a safe space, which is something I hope Dear Listener can always provide.

See @dearopenmic on Twitter or the Facebook and Instagram pages for more.