Inspired in Caersws Festival was a poetry and music festival planned, curated and hosted by Nadia Kingsley in April 2018 – at Mid Wales Arts Centre.
Nadia would like to thank Giancarlo Facchinetti, Paul Kielty, Isaac and Pat Edwards for their invaluable help and support over the weekend – aswell as Cathy and John at Mid Wales Arts for their wonderful venue and tireless energy. This festival was supported by public funding through Arts Council Wales.
WHAT? A poetry, music and art festival – co-hosted by Fair Acre Press with Mid Wales Arts
WHEN? 21 – 22 April 2018
WHERE? Mid Wales Arts, Maesmawr, Caersws, Newtown SY17 5SB It is, if coming from Newtown, on the right – directly off the A470 and just after you have crossed the railway line. Free plentiful parking.
WHY? Cathy Knapp set up Mid Wales Arts ten years ago. It is also the weekend of the death of John Ceiriog Hughes – whose desire for “simplicity of diction & emotional sincerity” has been the cornerstone for this festival’s programming
WHAT? Workshops, Performances (both in English and Welsh), Open Mike, and on the 20th April a Children’s workshop and performance at the local primary school
WHO? Keith Chandler, Diane Drummond, Menna Elfyn, Marlis Jones, Gill Lambert, Gregory Leadbetter, Robert Minhinnick, Delma Thomas, Andrew Warren, Casia William and You
HOW? We are so grateful to the Arts Council Wales whose support through public funding has made this festival possible, allowed us to keep the ticket prices low while paying the workshop leaders and performers a fair wage
ACCESSIBLE? Mid Wales Arts has been inspected and deemed fully accessible. However they are currently converting a barn where all the readings and open mike will take place. If all goes well with the building work – this will be wheelchair-accessible and will have hearing loop system installed in time for this festival but please do check if either of these are essential for your enjoyment by contacting Nadia at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks
PARKING? There will be free plentiful parking – including some Disabled Parking spaces
TRAIN? There is a train station in Caersws
WHAT SHOULD YOU BRING? Appropriate clothing for whatever April sends our way. Maybe a cushion for the chairs which are firm. There will be homemade food, hot and cold drinks, cakes, and alcohol-in-the-evening for sale – but bring what else you want.
A notebook, your poems, and we will provide the inspiration! Oh and some cash in case you want to buy any books! (though we can probably cope with cheques and cards)
Inspired in Caersws FESTIVAL : Ysbrydoledig yng Nghaersws
WELCOME !! CROESO !!
Below you will find the details of our INSPIRED IN CAERSWS Festival
(pronounce Caersws – Cire-soos)
A festival of poetry, art & music – for english speakers with some welsh language
There will be readings, live music, participatory workshops, art viewings, and plenty of time to share ideas. The festival will be held in the galleries and new barn conversion at Mid Wales Arts.
Refreshments will be on sale and there will be a couple of stalls, including a bookstall.
This festival builds on the local interest in the nineteenth-century poet and lyricist John ‘Ceiriog’ Hughes who was station master at Caersws for the last 19 years of his life. In 2017 local teenagers and adults worked with ceramicists at Mid Wales Arts to create a full-size clay sculpture of him as part of their Sculpteen programme. This sculpture will be unveiled during the weekend, forming another part of the festival’s permanent legacy, alongside live-to-digital podcast recordings of the performances
Local children attending Mid Wales Arts’ pottery club have made figures from Welsh legends, which will be exhibited at the festival.
A professional group art exhibition, by artists from the Borderlands Visual Arts Group, titled ‘Nexus’; and a sculpture trail will form the backdrop and inspiration to activities.
There will be an Open Mike (bilingual), a ‘Ceiriog’ event (Cymraeg), and the Saturday evening event (bilingual) will certainly be a highlight as it features T.S. Eliot shortlisted Robert Minhinnick, the wonderful Bloodaxe Welsh language Menna Elfyn, and the stunning, accompanied, voice of Diane Drummond.
If you go to The Mid Wales Arts Centre’s website they will help you find campsites and B&Bs, and local eateries – as you may well be interested in staying over and enjoying the local landscape. You will also see some of the amazing activities, exhibitions and events that Cathy has made happen in the past ten years. She has most definitely enriched my life and so many others… but bear with her.. she is in the middle of turning the big barn into a wonderful performance arena so she may be a little slow getting this information up for you x
Saturday 21st April, 2018
3 to 5 pm NEXUS – THE NUB OF IT Poetry Workshop with Gill Lambert. £6
Suitable for all levels.
A workshop using the exhibition ‘Nexus’ as inspiration. You will be examining the connections between poetry and art.
Gill has run many workshops with various titles and with many groups in education and community settings. She will ‘warm you up’ with some examples of poems based on and inspired by a piece of visual art and then set you loose – calling you back, too soon I imagine, to make certain the workshopping doesn’t end here. The workshop will be a supportive and encouraging space in which to respond to the different examples of art that will be available to you. There will be time at the end of the workshop to read your work if you want to.
PLEASE NOTE: Gill Lambert is now reading on Sunday in Poetry in the afternoon!!
7:30 to 10pm DON’T JUST HEAR, LISTEN – Robert Minhinnick, Menna Elfyn, Diane Drummond and band. £12 full price
Readings by T.S.Eliot shortlisted Robert Minhinnick, Welsh language Menna Elfyn who Robert has translated, and the extraordinary voice and presence of Diane Drummond – with friends.
Ian McMillan missed not just his own train stop when reading The Diary of the Last Man – Robert Minhinnick’s 2017 TS Eliot-shortlisted book, but several. I can understand that. I could hardly breathe reading his poetry – which is spare with its language but filled with imagery and profound truths.
He is one of Menna Elfyn’s regular translators too so we will have the privilege of hearing both poet and translator read some of Menna’s poetry as well as Menna herself read English translations.
Menna Elfyn is an award winning poet and playwright and the most translated and travelled of all Welsh poets . She has written plays for television and radio and is the author of over 20 books. She is the first woman to be made Professor of Poetry & Creative Writing at University of Wales, Trinity Saint David; and is Honorary President of Wales PEN Cymru. Again – a master of words and truths and images you will dive right into.
Diane Drummond has the most amazing voice, and a generosity in her performance that you will be able to relax into – but not for long – you may cry, you may dance, and if you are like me you will most certainly whoop!
Joined by fellow musicians Peter Ryan on bass guitar and Marc Estibero on acoustic guitar. All 3 are accomplished musicians, sharing a love of their own personal styles added to their favourite songs.
The band plays and sings contemporary jazz, blues, gospel, soul, folk and all in between.
Diane’s voice has been described as a fine smooth and velvet chocolate with her own added notes in between.
“Don’t just hear, listen” – their motto but one I have purloined, with their permission, for the title of this whole event
Sunday 22nd April, 2018
11 am to 1pm ‘THE PATH OF SOUND THROUGH THE AIR’ (S.T. Coleridge) Poetry Workshop with Gregory Leadbetter. £6
In this workshop, poet and Coleridge scholar Dr Gregory Leadbetter will introduce you to key elements of Coleridge’s practice and thought as a poet, bringing to life the rich insights of a major poet and enabling you to apply techniques and principles drawn from Coleridge in poems of your own.
2 to 2:30pm CERDD A CHAN – A celebration of John ‘Ceiriog’ Hughes. £3
3 to 5pm Poetry in the Afternoon – Keith Chandler, Gill Lambert & Gregory Leadbetter. £6
Three of my favourite poets will read from their recent works. If you don’t know their poetry yet – I hope that you too will be as taken by it as I am. Three very different poetic approaches and voices – but each in keeping with ‘Ceriog’s desire for “simplicity of diction and emotional sincerity”
“Rich in the nuances and implications of life’s small details” – Oz Hardwick
5:30 to 7pm OPEN MIKE – You
No need to book a place beforehand just let me know from 5:15pm on the day
BIOGS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
After 40 years in East Anglia, where no one knows how to sing, Keith is looking forward to returning to Wales where his grandfather, James James, worked for over 40 years in the slate mines.
Diane Drummond is a “decorative” vocalist who provides diversity in the songs and sounds she delivers. Joined by fellow musicians Peter Ryan on bass guitar and Marc Estibero on acoustic guitar. All 3 are accomplished musicians, sharing a love of their own personal styles added to their favourite songs. The band performs in an engaging manner that entertains, dazzles and decisively wins over audiences. The band can be seen at commemorative events, corporate events, singing contemporary jazz, blues, gospel, soul, folk and all in between. Diane’s voice has been described as a fine smooth and velvet chocolate with her own added notes in between. They clearly share a love of music with an appreciation of the songwriters who’s songs they sensitively cover with their own decorative musical style.
Menna Elfyn is one of the foremost Welsh-language writers. As well as being an award- winning poet, she has published plays, libretti and children’s novels, and co-edited The Bloodaxe Book of Modern Welsh Poetry (2003) with John Rowlands. Her books include two bilingual selections, Eucalyptus: Detholiad o Gerddi / Selected Poems 1978-1994 (Gomer Press, 1995), and Perfect Blemish: New & Selected Poems / Perffaith Nam: Dau Ddetholiad & Cherddi Newydd 1995-2007 (Bloodaxe Books, 2007), a Welsh-only selection Merch Perygl: Cerddi 1976-2011 (Gomer Press, 2011), and two later dual language collections from Bloodaxe, Murmur (2012), a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation, and Bondo (October 2017). Her literary memoir Llyfr Menna Elfyn / Menna Elfyn’s Book will be published by Barddas in March 2018. Menna Elfyn was Wales’s National Children’s Laureate in 2002, and was made President of Wales PEN Cymru in 2014. She was, until 2016, Creative Director in the School of Cultural Studies at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David; she is also Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing. When not travelling the world for readings and residencies, she lives in Carmarthen.
Menna Elfyn yw un o feirdd mwyaf blaenllaw Cymru. Ar wahân i ennill gwobrau am ei barddoniaeth, y mae wedi cyhoeddi libretti, nofelau i blant ac wedi golygu ar y cyd gyda’r diweddar John Rowlands, The Bloodaxe Book of Modern Welsh Poetry (2003). Cyhoeddwyd dwy gyfrol ddwyieithog Eucalyptus: Detholiad o Gerddi/Selected Poems 1978-1994 ( Gwasg Gomer. 1995) a Perfect Blemish: New & Selected Poems/ Perffaith Nam:Dau Ddetholiad a Cherddi Newydd 1995- 2007 (Bloodaxe Books, 2007), cyfrol Gymraeg Merch Perygl: Cerddi 1976-2011 ( Gwasg Gomer, 2011), a dwy gyfrol ddwyieithog arall o wasg Bloodaxe, Murmur (2012) , a enillodd gymeradwyaeth Cymdeithas Llyfrau Barddoniaeth, a Bondo, ( Hydref 2017). Bydd ei LLên Gofiant, LLyfr Menna Elfyn yn ymddangos o Wasg Barddas ym mis Mawrth 2018. Bu’n Fardd Plant Cymru yn 2002 a’i dewis yn Llywydd Wales PEN Cymru yn 2014. Tan 2016, roedd yn Gyfarwyddwr Creadigol Ysgol Astudiaethau Diwylliannol Prifysgol Cymru, Y Drindod Dewi Sant ac yn Athro Barddoniaeth ac Ysgrifennu Creadigo ynol. Pan nad yw’n teithio’r byd i ddarlleniadau a phreswyliadau, mae’n byw yng Nghaerfyrddin
Marlis Jones was born and brought up in Bethesda, a quarrying village in Caernarfonshire. After following a Teachers’ Training course in Bangor Normal College, she taught at Llandudno. She moved to Mid Wales with her husband in 1971 where they had a sheep farm. She writes short stories and has two collections in Welsh published. Some of her English stories have been published in anthologies. She contributes regularly to Seren Hafren, the Welsh Local paper and is supportive all things Welsh in the locality. She was Administrative Druid of Eisteddfod Powys and is a member of The Powys Gorsedd of Bards.
Ganed a magwyd Marlis ym Methesda, un o bentrefi chwarel lechi Sir Gaernarfon. Wedi dilyn cwrs dysgu yng Ngholeg y Normal Bangor, bu’n athrawes yn Llandudno. Symudodd gyda’i gŵr i fferm ddefaid yn 1971. Mae’n ysgrifennu storiâu byrion a chanddi ddwy gyfrol wedi eu cyhoeddi gydag ambell un Saesneg wedi eu cynnwys mewn casgliadau. Mae’n cyfrannu’n fisol i Seren Hafren, y papur lleol Cymraeg ac yn gefnogol i bob gweithgaredd Cymreig yn yr ardal. Bu’n Dderwydd Gweinyddol Eisteddfod Powys ac mae’n aelod o Orsedd Beirdd Powys.
Delma Thomas was born in Carmarthenshire South Wales, but moved at the age of four, over the river to Pembrokeshire. She was educated at Glandwr Primary School and Preseli High School. Then went to college in Swansea where she qualified as a teacher. She came to Montgomeryshire firstly to Clatter Primary School and then Caersws Primary School. After over twenty years in the classroom, she joined the Powys Welsh Peripatetic Team.
Having been interested in Welsh things over the years she works hard to keep the language alive and used in the area. She organizes Welsh language activities for Welsh speakers and Learners in the area. and also gives Welsh “taster” sessions to non Welsh speakers who are interested in the language.
Delma also works every month to get Seren Hafren the local Welsh Paper to the press and to the shelves of our shops. She is a member of the National Eisteddfod Gorsedd of Bards.
Gyda’i diddordeb ym mhob peth Cymreig dros y blynyddoedd mae’n gweithio’n ddygn i gadw’r iaith yn fyw yn yr ardal. Mae’n trefnu gweithgareddau Cymreig i siaradwyr Cymraeg a Dysgwyr yn yr ardal, a hefyd yn rhoi sesiynau profi i’r di-gymraeg sydd â diddordeb yn yr iaith.
Mae’n gweithio’n ddyfal bob mis i ddod â Seren Hafren, y papur lleol Cymraeg i’r wasg ac i’r siopau. Mae’n aelod o Orsedd y Beirdd yn Genedlaethol a Gorsedd Beirdd Powys.
Casia Wiliam yw Bardd Plant Cymru 2017–19. Mae cynllun Bardd Plant Cymru yn sicrhau fod plant ym mhob cwr o Gymru yn cael y cyfle i arbrofi â geiriau. Drwy weithdai, perfformiadau a gweithgareddau mae’r cynllun yn cyflwyno llenyddiaeth i blant mewn modd bywiog, deinamig a chyffrous. Mae Casia yn 29 oed a daw’n wreiddiol o Nefyn ym Mhen Llŷn, ond mae bellach yn byw yng Nghaerdydd. Mae wedi cyhoeddi nifer o lyfrau gwreiddiol i blant – Clywch Ni’n Rhuo Nawr!, Arthur yn Achub y Byd a Pedrig y Pysgodyn Pengaled (Carreg Gwalch) a Sgrech y Môr (Y Lolfa), ac wedi addasu dwy o nofelau Michael Morpurgo i’r Gymraeg, sef Ceffyl Rhyfel ac Y Llew Pilipala (Carreg Gwalch). Mae hi hefyd yn aelod o dîm Y Ffoaduriaid ar y gyfres radio Talwrn y Beirdd. Hi yw Swyddog Cyfryngau a Chyfathrebu Oxfam Cymru.
Casia Wiliam is the Welsh Children’s Laureate 2017–19. The Welsh Children’s Laureate scheme aims to ensure that children throughout Wales get the opportunity to play with words. Originally from Nefyn on the Llŷn Peninsula, Casia now lives in Cardiff with her family. She has published numerous original books for children – Clywch Ni’n Rhuo Nawr!, Arthur yn Achub y Byd, Pedrig y Pysgodyn Pengaled (Carreg Gwalch) and Sgrech y Môr (Y Lolfa), and has adapted two of Michael Morpurgo’s stories into Welsh, Ceffyl Rhyfel and Y Llew Pilipala (Carreg Gwalch). She is also a member of Y Ffoaduriaid, a team of poets on the popular radio series Talwrn y Beirdd. She is the Media and Communications Officer for Oxfam Cymru.