The Abergavenny Writing Festival

April 2022

Saturday 9th

Unless otherwise stated events takes place at The Melville Centre, Abergavenny, NP7 5UD. Plan your journey here
10:00am- 11:30am – I Wonder as I Wander with clare e. potter – Tickets are £5 (+42p booking fee) and are available here
Photograph of a blonde woman, wearing a green cardigan with trees in the background
Let’s get outside, share and shape some thoughts and noticings, tapping into the lovely world around us and within each of us. Leave with a poem, a song, an idea for a painting! We’ll set our words loose, make some bunting so when we leave the space, our words will go on doing their thing! 
Creatives 8-12 years old, join clare e. potter Saturday April 9th, The Melville Centre, Abergavenny to experiment with writing.clare e. potter bilingual poet, radio presenter, participatory artist is currently finishing her second poetry collection thanks to Literature Wales bursary and a grant from the Society of Authors. She is working on projects to facilitate well-being and writing through nature and is learning poetry therapy practice thanks to Arts Council funding.  She directed BBC Wales documentary about her village barber and will be presenting poetry programmes for BBC radio this year.
Picture credit Huw Gosling 
10:15am – 11:15am – This is How the Change Begins with Nicola Davies – Tickets are £7 (+ 59p booking fee) and are available here

Photograph of a lady with shoulder length grey hair, wearing a scarf, underneath is a book cover with green text stating 'This is how the change begins'

 

This is How the Change Begins is a collection of six illuminating poems inspired by the growing threat of climate change. Nicola will talk about the inspiration behind some of the poems featured in the book, along with her own writing process.

Nicola Davies is the author of more than 80 books, including fiction, non-fiction, picture books and poetry. Her work has been translated into more than 10 different languages and won awards in the UK, US, Europe and Japan. Her books for Graffeg include Perfect (Greenaway Longlist 2017), The PondThe New GirlAnimal Surprises (Klaus Flugge Longlist 2017), the Country Tales series and the Shadows & Light series. Underlying all Nicola’s writing is the belief that a relationship with nature is essential to every human being, and that now, more than ever, we need to renew that relationship.

 

13:00 – 14:00 – Medi Jones Jackson reads from her Welsh language children’s book ‘Inspiring Welsh Women’ – Tickets are £5 (+42p booking fee) and are available here

Medi Jones-Jackson will be reading from her book ‘Genod Gwych a Merched Medrus’ followed by a drawing activity and Q&A with the author. The books are aimed at 7 to 11 year olds.

Yn wreiddiol o Ddyffryn Conwy, symudodd Medi i Aberystwyth fel myfyriwr gan ddisgyn mewn cariad gyda’r ardal a gyda bachgen o Gaernarfon. Yn gyn-swyddog hybu darllen i Gyngor Llyfrau Cymru cafodd Medi ei hysbrydoli i ysgrifennu Genod Gwych a Merched Medrus, ei llyfr cyntaf, gan y diffyg sylw i hanes merched o Gymru. Yn fam i ddau mae gan Medi ddiddordrbau eang, gan gynnwys garddio, ioga, teithio, gwylio ffilmiau a sioeau cerdd. Fe wnaeth y llyfr gyrraedd rhestr fer Gwobrau Tir na n-Og 2020 a rhestr fer Llyfr y Flwyddyn (Plant ac Oedolion Ifanc). Cyhoeddwyd ei hail gyfrol, Genod Gwych a Merched Medrus 2, yn haf 2021.
Originally from the Conwy Valley, Medi moved to Aberystwyth as a student and fell in love with the area and with a boy from Caernarfon. She previously worked in the Books Council of Wales promoting reading and was inspired to write Genod Gwych a Merched Medrus, her first book, as a result of the lack of attention to the history of Welsh women. A mother of two, Medi has wide-ranging interests including gardening, yoga, travelling and watching films and musicals. The book reached the short list of the Tir na n-Og children’s literature prize in 2020 and the shortlist of Book of the Year (Children and Young People). Her second book, Genod Gwych a Merched Medrus 2, was published in the summer of 2021.

13:00 – 15:00 – Text & Textiles with Bob Walton & Jan Thomas – Tickets are £10 (+ 84p booking fee) and are available here

A writing and making workshop at The Wool Croft.

Writing resembles textile art, weaving words, stitching them into texts of subtle shades and textures. Join writer Bob Walton and textile artist Jan Thomas to explore the inspirational possibilities of textiles for creative writing. We’ll look at writers’ use of the rich imagery of fabrics and learn how Jan’s work combines her passions for landscape and craft. Whether you write poetry or prose, or if you’d like to give it a try, you’ll have the opportunity to produce your own writing in response to Jan’s artworks, Bob’s prompts, or the colourful, tactile environment of the Wool Croft. Have a go at stitching or writing your words on textile material!

Artist and tutor Jan Thomas runs courses at Textiles at the Weir in Llanddewi Rhydderch. She is Chair of Made in Monmouthshire and Abergavenny  Arts Festival. She has worked with textiles all her life and her work is inspired by the Welsh countryside, particularly the mountains surrounding Abergavenny.

Poet Bob Walton also writes scripts, fiction and non-fiction, and teaches creative writing at Cardiff University and in community groups. An experienced reader at events, his second collection, ‘Sax Burglar Blues,’ is published by Seren.

This event takes place at The Wool Croft, Abergavenny NP7 5AD – plan your journey here

 

 

15:00 – 17:30 – Finding your own voice – A creative workshop for women facilitated by Liz Pearce – Tickets are £15 (+ £1.26 booking fee) and are available here

“No one can tell you you’re wrong, because your words are yours.” (A quote from Maid – a drama series written by Molly Smith Metzier)
Experiencing the creative process as part of a group is exciting and motivating. This is a workshop for women of all ages and backgrounds – you don’t need any previous writing experience, just experience of life.  Liz’s approach is to start with individual experience and to creatively transform this into universal stories that resonate. The workshop will be challenging and fun – it will enlighten and uplift you!

Liz Pearce has 30 years’ experience as an actor, writer, facilitator and teacher. She is the co-founder and director of Rareseed Youth Theatre and has worked extensively for the British Heart Foundation and Public Health Wales in the South Wales valleys.
Last year Liz was commissioned as a poet by Creative Lives and Literature Wales as part of a Wales wide community project, focussing on creativity during the pandemic. This year, alongside compiling a new volume of her poetry, she is delivering workshops for Rhondda Cynon Taff creative writing group and is writing a dramatic  narrative poem as part of a multi-media project Hydro-Psyche (Water Spirit) about rivers, to be exhibited in Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

18:00 – 19:00 – Writing and Covid: Mutation, Transformation, Adaptation – a discussion – Tickets are £5 (+ 42p booking fee) and are available here

A dark photograph of a person wearing a white face mask typing a laptop

Covid 19 arrived, mutated and is with us for ever. How will it change the way we live? What are the challenges and opportunities for our writing? What can we learn from writing about previous epidemics? Does writing have a responsibility to bear witness and ensure we remember? Should writing have a moral purpose and sensibility? Has Covid changed how we write, what we write about and how we collaborate with other art forms?

The discussion will begin with Phil Madden raising these and other questions, with examples. This will be followed by a chance to share everyone’s experiences, observations and suggestions. The aim is to capture these as a ‘menu of possibilities’ for future inspiration.

With renowned engravers Phil Madden has produced seven limited edition books. He has written extensively on disability and until recently was Chair of Learning at Disability Wales. Phil championed the use of Easy Read as a way to engage people with learning disability and wrote the Easy Read Version of the Council of Europe’s Disability Action Plan.

19:30 – 22:30pm – Saturday Night Shebang – Tickets are £12 (+£1.01 booking fee) and are available here

Come and experience the whole shebang for the finale of this year’s Abergavenny Writing Festival. Beginning with readings from poets Des Mannay and Lily Sequoia. There will be an open-mic ‘TalknTales’ created by Cardiff University’s Creative Writing MA students. And finally a performance from singer songwriter Kizzy Crawford.

Des Mannay is a Welsh writer of colour. His poetry is published in his collection, “Sod ’em – and tomorrow” by Waterloo Press as well as in numerous poetry journals and 35 anthologies. Des is the co-editor of ‘The Angry Manifesto ’poetry journal and a  prize winner in 4 poetry competitions and shortlisted in 7. “One can almost hear the words thumping aloud on the page and imagine the rapturous response of an audience listening.” (Menna Elfyn)

Lily is a poet, doula, facilitator, film maker and mother of two. She brought the first community production of The Vagina Monologues to the UK in 2001. Since then, she has had a passion for creating spaces for women’s voices to be heard, from performance through to the birth room.  In 2016 she co-wrote produced and directed award-winning ecological documentary “wetheuncivilised: A Life Story”

ShareUrScribble, a company created by Cardiff University’s Creative Writing MA students, are proud to be bringing ‘TalknTales’ to the Abergavenny Writing Festival 2022, an open mic for poetry and spoken word. All ages and experiences are welcome, whether you’re a seasoned pro or newbie, we want to see you get up and have some fun! Each participant will be allocated 2-3 minutes to share their work! Spaces are limited, so we encourage you to sign up fast by emailing shareurscribble@outlook.com

Kizzy Crawford is a Welsh speaker with Bajan heritage, 24 year old Kizzy’s solo career began just a few years ago and in that time, Kizzy has developed an increasing sophistication to her song writing and performance, which is complimented by her soulful voice that boasts both range and charisma. Her ambition as a young Welsh mixed race artist is to make her mark by fusing bilingual soul-folk jazz and she’s already getting recognition for her work with airplay on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC 6Music, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, Jazz FM.