Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival Programme Announced

The 2020 Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival is set to be the biggest yet, with 21 fantastic events over the course of the 3-day winter weekend.

The Sunday evening headline event sees Manic Street Preachers frontman James Dean Bradfield discuss his Desert Island Poems with the BBC’s Huw Stephens.

We’ll be announcing the winners of the very first Wales Poetry Award, and hosting the inaugural Meic Stephens Lecture, with Kieron Smith discussing the extraordinary career of renowned documentary maker and poet John Ormond.

Deryn Rees-Jones will be reading from her T.S. Eliot-shortlisted collection Erato, and there will be workshops with leading poets including Sandeep Parmar, Carrie Etter and the newly appointed Editor of Poetry Wales, Jonathan Edwards.

There will be workshops for aspiring writers and events featuring film, music, art and, of course, poetry from both established and new authors. Also returning to the festival will be Lucy Smith, creator of the Talking Ink podcast. Lucy will be speaking to emerging authors throughout the festival, hosting exclusive interviews that you will be able to listen back to once the event is over.

None of this would be possible without the support of our excellent sponsors and we give special thanks to the Rhys Davies Trust who are supporting the festival and its growth for the next three years. The Trust is a registered charity first set up by Meic Stephens, with funds provided by Lewis Davies, brother of writer Rhys Davies (1901-78). Its objectives are to promote the writer’s work and foster English and Welsh writing in English, especially in the valleys of south Wales and in the genres in which Rhys Davies wrote.

Festival organiser Amy Wack says:

“Poetry is one of the major art forms. Moreover, it’s a form currently enjoying a surge in popularity, readership and participation, with widespread coverage in print, broadcast and digital platforms. Recent years have seen a burgeoning of poetry festivals, expanding from rural locations like Ledbury, Aldeburgh, and Stanza in Scotland to newer urban festivals in Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Newcastle and Bristol. As we build on the success of our two previous Festivals, and with a schedule for growth running to 2022, Cardiff can stake a claim to be a cultural centre on a par with these English cities.”

Authors and Events include:

Vinegar Valentines, a workshop on love-gone-wrong poems with the popular Rhian Edwards.
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Festival Open Mic with guest-host Mike Jenkins, and guests Eric Ngalle Charles, Ifor ap Glyn and singer Eädyth.
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The inaugural Meic Stephens Lecture featuring Kieron Smith discussing the extraordinary career of renowned documentary maker John Ormond.
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Poetry Book Society Spring recommendation, Marvin Thompson, with a workshop on Form and Rhyme.
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The uproarious Cardiff-based performance poet Peter Finch with his new collection The Machineries of Joy.
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A film featuring Cardiff-based rising poet Eric Ngalle Charles.
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Ailbhe Darcy hosts an evening of Irish Women Poets with jazz accompaniment in the Cardiff Poetry Experiment.
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A Poetry Wales Party featuring the winners of the inaugural Wales Poetry Award.
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Zoë Skoulding with her PBS Winter recommended title, Footnotes to Water, accompanied by ambient soundscapes.
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Daljit Nagra reading from his collection British Museum.
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Poems about the Planet with Carrie Etter, author of The Weather in Normal, 2019 Mslexia Pamphlet Prize winner Jane Lovell and André Mangeot with his new collection Blood Rain.
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An event to remember the wonderful Welsh poet Dannie Abse with Robert Minhinnick, Lynne Hjelmgaard and those who knew him.
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Plus much more…

Please, join us for a fabulous weekend of art, music, discussion,
film and of course POETRY!

Thanks to our partners:

The Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival Returns for 2020!

The Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival (formerly Seren Cornerstone) was founded in February 2018, a partnership between independent book publishers Seren, and Cornerstone in Cardiff.

This year, however, building on the success of the first two festivals, we are moving to a brand new venue for 2020, the Temple of Peace in the historic Cathays Park.

We’re moving! Join us at the Temple of Peace, 14-16th February 2020.

Featuring events in the splendid Art Deco Marble Hall, further readings and lectures in the elegant panelled Council Chamber, and several smaller spaces for workshops, this year’s festival promises to be the best yet. Plus there’s an onsite bookshop and café!

If you have any queries you can get in touch with the festival team through our Contact page.

We are dedicating our 2019 festival to Christian Brown, OBE, KSG… 

Christian Brown

We are dedicating our 2019 festival to the inspirational whirlwind that was Christian Brown, OBE, KSG, Co-Director of our First Festival and the force behind the restoration of the beautiful Cornerstone building in Charles Street.

Christian sadly died in 2018, but he left a legacy of passionate involvement in the arts, particularly poetry and music. We salute his memory.

“Christian Brown was an irrepressible font of enthusiasm for the arts and as co-founder of the Seren/Cornerstone Poetry festival he has contributed to the culture of Wales in no small measure. We celebrate his vision, courage and considerable humour. He will be missed.” – Amy Wack, Seren Poetry Editor

Christian is pictured with Cornerstone Poet in Residence Katherine Stansfield, who performed in the Seren/Cornerstone Poetry Festival, which took place for the first time in February 2018.

The festival would not have taken place without Christian’s dynamic leadership and his passion for poetry; we will be forever grateful for his partnership and support.

‘He was full of enthusiasm for the role of poetry in Cornerstone’s new life, believing it could offer a special record of the year’s events, diverse as they were. As poet-in-residence it was my job to capture life at Cornerstone – a bustling place with a rich history of different forms of worship – in five poems, written over the course of twelve months.’
Katherine Stansfield (read more)

If you have any queries you can get in touch with the festival team through our Contact page