THE Hampshire Poet for 2012 has been named as Brian Evans-Jones from Winchester.

Organised by Hampshire County Council, writers were asked to send two poems and a personal statement.

Around 60 applications were received and poets were asked to say what they could bring to, and gain from the role.

Mr Evans-Jones teaches creative writing at the University of Winchester and the Open University.

He said: “I was really excited to find out that I'd been chosen, because I think it's a wonderful chance to take poetry to people all over the county.

“I hope to use it to get lots of folk interested in reading and writing poetry, and finding out how much pleasure it can give.”

In his role as Hampshire Poet, he will write about the county council’s cultural projects and activities during the year.

He will also be working with new and upcoming writers of all ages.

The Hampshire Poet contest began in 2008 to celebrate the National Year of Reading.

County council executive member for culture and recreation, Cllr Keith Chapman said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Brian to spread his passion for writing and literacy, while being an ambassador on behalf of Hampshire County Council.”

He added: “The development of reading and writing is extremely important to the council and we are always looking to find new and innovative ways of engaging with Hampshire residents to do this and to develop their creativity.

“The Hampshire Poet project shows that the county council recognises and fosters writing talent.”