Wimbledon can claim another first in the battle of Grand Slam oneupmanship after appointing an official poet for the Championships.
The club announced that poet Matt Harvey will “create a poem-a-day on all things Wimbledon: from umpires and racket stringers to the ball boys and ball girls; from the grass and its bounce to rain and the roof; strawberries and cream and all the unfolding drama of the matches and players.”
In addition, the poet-in-residence (for the fortnight) will also keep a blog and interact with fans online. He will also manage the occasional live reading.
The idea was proposed by an official of the Wimbledon Museum, curator Honor Godfrey, and is being staged in coordination with Britain’s Poetry Society.
“The Club agreed that having an official Championships Poet would provide a novel and interesting way of interpreting the Championships. It will be fascinating to see both Matt’s take on what we see year-in year-out, and indeed the public’s reaction to the poems,” she said.
The poet’s output will be posted online as well as in audio podcasts.
As for the part-time bard, it will all be part of a new adventure for the admitted tennis neophyte. “I’m acutely conscious it’s the only time I’ll come first in anything at Wimbledon, unless you count the queue for strawberries,” said Harvey.